SPS candidate killed in attack near Kosovo

BELGRADE, Aug 31, 2000 -- (AFP) Gunmen shot dead an activist with Yugoslavia's ruling Socialist Party (SPS) and seriously wounded his wife in an attack in southeastern Serbia near Kosovo, said an SPS statement carried by Tanjug.

Milivoj Kankaras, 62, an SPS candidate in next month's municipal elections, was "tied and shot at by Albanian terrorists" with his wife Visnja, in the village of Markovac, said the statement.

The village lies inside the security zone around Kosovo.

Kankaras was shot dead, while his wife managed to reach a nearby village and raise the alarm, said the statement. She was now in hospital and out of danger, the statement added.

The party blamed the "Albanian terrorists, under the auspicies of UN mission (UNMIK)" in Kosovo and its the UN administrator Bernard Kouchner, describing them as "contemporary NATO fascists."

Kankaras was a candidate for Serbia's local council elections, which are scheduled for September 24.

The site of the attack is close to the village of Dobrosin, a stronghold of an ethnic Albanian armed separatist group known as the Liberation Army of Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac (UCPMB) -- three districts just outside Kosovo that are home to about 70,000 Albanians.

The five-kilometer- (three-mile-) wide ground security zone was installed under the terms of a military-technical accord signed by Belgrade and NATO in June 1999, following the 78-day bombing war against Yugoslavia.

Only Serb police can patrol the area, often called the "demilitarized zone".

Violence between the Albanian separatists and police has already left several people dead and dozens wounded.

Original article