The Nando times - Yugoslav party office damaged in firebomb attack

By MISHA SAVIC

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (November 20, 1999 5:54 p.m. EST) - Unidentified men on Saturday firebombed an office of the Democratic Party, a leading opposition group leading protests demanding the ouster of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

"The attack was apparently done by a professional, inspired by the current regime, which has been trying to intimidate our party," Zoran Zivkovic, a top party official, told The Associated Press.

The attackers hurled a gasoline-filled bottle into the local branch of the party in Nis, Serbia's third-largest city, some 125 miles southeast of the capital, Belgrade. No one was injured.

The Democratic Party is a leading force in the opposition to Milosevic. It has also spearheaded protests in Serbia's main cities that demand the president's resignation and fair elections.

The state-run Tanjug news agency reported that a local official of Milosevic's ruling Socialists in the town condemned the attack.

Also Saturday, several members of the anti-Milosevic student group Otpor (Resistance) were beaten in downtown Belgrade by unidentified men while putting up posters announcing a protest event for later this month.

Student activist Milja Jovanovic said the students asked for help from a nearby police patrol but the officers did not react.

Also Saturday, the key opposition Serbian Renewal movement said in a statement that its probe into an Oct. 4 car crash that killed four party officials showed the truck that caused the accident belonged to Serbia's powerful state security.

There was no immediate comment from the authorities. No results from an official investigation have been made public so far.

Meanwhile, the president of Montenegro said Saturday that the West must put its economic muscle behind its moral support for democracy in his homeland. Montenegro is the smaller of two republics that make up Yugoslavia. The larger republic is Serbia, where Kosovo is located.

President Milan Djukanovic also said he believed efforts to establish democracy in Montenegro could serve as an example for forces of reform in Serbia.

"The West has done a great deal to support us verbally, but this purely verbal support is not sufficient," Djukanovic said while attending an international economic forum in Monaco.

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