Leading Serb politician in Kosovo shot dead

Prominent Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic has been shot and killed in the ex-Serbian province of Kosovo, multiple reports say. Kosovo police are looking for the attackers.
Kosovo Mitrovica - Oliver Ivanovic (Getty Images/AFP/S. Djordjevic)
The 64-year-old Ivanovic was shot on Tuesday morning in the Serbian area of Kosovska Mitrovica, the city divided between Albanians and Serbs, on Tuesday morning.
According to Ivanovic's lawyer Nebojsa Vlajic, the attacker used a pistol and shot Ivanovic five times.
"He was taken to the hospital right away," the lawyer told the Serbian daily Blic. "The doctors tried to reanimate him, but he could not be saved."
Ivanovic rose to prominence after the Kosovo war in 1999, which ended with Serbian forces pulling out of the mostly Albanian-populated region. The former Serbian province formally declared independence in 2008.
The politician had served in various positions, representing the interests of the Serbian minority in Kosovo amidst the frozen conflict between Belgrade and Pristina. In 2014, he was detained on suspicion of war crimes. He was convicted, but his conviction was overturned on appeal and he was released pending the outcome of the new trial two years later.
In July last year, he reported that his car had been torched. While commenting on the incident in a DW interview, he said the car burning had been a "message" aimed to scare him into curbing his political activity.
"I feel safe, I am not afraid or anyone or anything. Something like this cannot scare me. But I understood the message," he told DW.
Ivanovic pledged to run on the Kosovo election in October 2017 despite the incident.
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The moderate Serb leader was a father of three and accomplished karate instructor. In the interview with DW Serbian, he restated his position of using the Cyprus model to resolve day-to-day issues in the still ethnically-charged conflict.
According to Serbian media, he was assassinated in front of his office in Kosovska Mitrovica. Kosovo police said they were looking for the attackers, with heavy police presence visible on the scene.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic called for an emergency national security meeting over the killing. The news also prompted a Serbian delegation in Brussels to walk out of a meeting with Pristina representatives in Brussels on Tuesday, Serbian media reports.