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The BBC's Nick Thorpe reports from Belgrade
"Opposition leaders called for non-violent resistance"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 16 May, 2000, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
Student activists held over Yugoslav murder
An Otpor resistance activist is arrested in connection with a murder
Police arrested one man moments after the shooting
Police in Yugoslavia have arrested 20 members of the anti-government student movement, Otpor, in connection with the murder of a senior official from the ruling Socialist Party.

The activists were held in towns across Serbia, with several detained in the northern city of Novi Sad, where the murder took place on Saturday.

Another 25 people in Novi Sad were also reported to have been held briefly, and arrest warrants have been issued for two other activists.

News of the police action came hours after an opposition rally in Belgrade attended by 15,000 people.


Perosevic
Bosko Perosevic: Government blames Otpor for his murder
The government has blamed the opposition for the death of Bosko Perosevic, the head of the provincial government.

One man was arrested moments after the shooting, and was described by the authorities as an Otpor activist and member of of Serbia's main opposition party, the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO).

Both groups have denied the man had anything to do with them, and accuse the government of attempting to outlaw dissent in Yugoslavia.

The student arrests came after Mr Perosevic's funeral was held in Novi Sad, attended by thousands of people.

'Terrorist group'

A local official told mourners the the assassins could be compared with Nato commanders who ordered last year's air strikes against Serbia.

Local opposition leaders also attended the funeral and paid tribute to the murdered official.

In Belgrade, opposition leaders called for non-violent resistance to what they called the growing violence of the authorities.

The government has denounced Otpor as a terrorist group bent on Yugoslavia's destruction.

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21 Nov 99 | Europe
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