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Thursday, 1 June, 2000, 09:03 GMT 10:03 UK
Montenegro's security chief killed
Goran Zugic killed
Goran Zugic was shot dead in front of his home
By Jacky Rowland in Belgrade

A security advisor to the president of Montenegro has been shot dead in the capital, Podgorica.

Goran Zugic was killed by unknown gunmen in front of his flat near the city's main square. His assailants apparently escaped.

He had previously worked as chief of security for the capital and for the coastal town of Herzeg Novi.

There has been a string of assassinations this year of prominent figures in Serbia, the larger part of the Yugoslav federation.

This, however, is the first to take place in Montenegro, although prominent figures with Montenegrin connections have previously been killed.

Elections

The killing comes as Montenegro is preparing for local elections in 10 days' time, which will be seen as a test of public support for President Milo Djukanovic.

His rivals, who are loyal to the Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic, are mounting a fierce campaign.

They accuse Mr Djukanovic of selling out Yugoslavia's interests to the West.

President Milosevic himself has announced plans to visit Montenegro, but few in Podgorica or Belgrade expect him to make the trip because of security risks.

The killing of Mr Zugic marks a new phase in the wave of assassinations in Yugoslavia since the beginning of the year.

It is likely to add to tensions which are already running high between Montenegro and Serbia.

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See also:

06 Apr 00 | Europe
Tensions rise in Montenegro
14 May 00 | From Our Own Correspondent
Montenegro on a knife edge
13 May 00 | Europe
Milosevic ally shot dead
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