Leading Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic shot dead outside office

A prominent Kosovo Serb politician, Oliver Ivanovic, was shot dead outside his party offices Tuesday morning, halting...

Posted: Jan 16, 2018 12:35 PM
Updated: Jan 16, 2018 12:35 PM

A prominent Kosovo Serb politician, Oliver Ivanovic, was shot dead outside his party offices Tuesday morning, halting talks between Kosovar and Serb delegates that had been set to resume that day.

Ivanovic was shot at least five times outside his office in the Serb-run Kosovar city of Mitrovica, doctors told Serbian State TV RTS.

He was shot at 8.15 a.m. (2.15 a.m. ET) and died 45 minutes later, his lawyer Nebojsa Vlajic told CNN.

Ivanovic, the 64-year-old head of the Kosovo Serb Freedom, Democracy, Justice party was due to attend EU-mediated talks between delegates from Kosovo and Serbia in Brussels. The talks are aimed at normalizing relations between Kosovo and Serbia.

But after his death, the Belgrade delegation left Brussels to return to Serbia, the Serbian government said in a statement.

Ivanovic was facing retrial for alleged war crimes against ethnic Albanians during the Kosovo war.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia 10 years after the bloody conflict between Serb forces and Kosovar-Albanian rebels. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo as an independent country.

The war between 1998 and 1999 led to thousands of deaths and the displacement of nearly 90% of Kosovo's population.

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