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The BBC's David Campanale
"He fell mortally wounded with a shot to the head"
 real 28k

Saturday, 13 May, 2000, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Milosevic ally shot dead
arrest
A suspect was arrested at the scene
A top official of President Slobodan Milosevic's ruling Socialist Party has been shot dead at an agricultural fair in the latest in a series of high-profile killings in Yugoslavia.

Bosko Perosevic was touring the fair in the country's second largest city, Novi Sad, when a security guard approached him and shot him in the head at close range.

Mr Perosevic was head of the provincial government of Yugoslavia's Vojvodina province and chief of the Socialist Party in Novi Sad, and was known as a supporter of Mr Milosevic's autocratic policies.

He died of his wounds in a hospital shortly after 1600 (1400GMT).

Phone call

Witnesses identified the gunman as 50-year-old Milivoj Gutovic, who had worked at the exhibition area for years and came originally from Mr Perosevic's home town.


High-profile killings
January - Zeljko Raznjatovic, also known as Arkan, killed in a Belgrade hotel
February - Defence Minister Pavle Bulatovic gunned down in a restaurant
March - Former Serbian paramilitary Branislav Lainovic killed by automatic gunfire at Hotel Serbia
April - Zika Petrovic, national airline chief, shot dead in the capital
May - Bosko Perosevic

They said he was arrested after a brief chase.

Belgrade-based Studio B Television reported that seconds before the attack Mr Perosevic's mobile telephone rang and he moved aside from his delegation of government officials visiting the fair.

As he answered the phone, Gutovic approached him, pressed the gun at Mr Perosevic's head and fired.

The report said Mr Perosevic, born in 1956, was rushed to a Novi Sad hospital in a critical condition.

A statement from the Socialist Party condemned the attack, saying it expects the police "to efficiently solve what is behind this assassination".



Bosko Perosevic: Socialist high-flyer
It was the latest in a series of high-profile shootings in which government officials, top businessmen and underworld figures have been assassinated.

The general manager of Yugoslav national carrier, JAT, was killed last month, the country's defence minister was shot dead in February and the notorious paramilitary leader and gangster, Zeljko Raznatovic-Arkan, was assassinated in January.

Tensions

While investigations in previous cases have not been conclusive, this is the first time when the alleged attacker was apprehended on the spot.

The violence has come amid rising political tensions and random allegations by the state that Mr Milosevic's Western foes and political opponents at home were behind the murders.

Just before the Novi Sad annual fair was opened on Saturday morning, police arrested seven members of the opposition Democratic Party who gathered at the entrance gate to hand out party leaflets.

They were released hours later, after a group of about 50 protesters gathered at the main jail in Novi Sad to demand their release.

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