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Serbia mourns 13 killed in shooting rampage

Serbia holds national day of mourning as police search for possible motives in Balkan nation's worst peacetime massacre.

Last Modified: 10 Apr 2013 21:11
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Serbia has held a national day of mourning over a shooting massacre which left 13 villagers dead and triggered
demands for tighter gun-control laws.

Police said on Wednesday that a 60-year-old veteran went on a pre-dawn, house-to-house rampage on Tuesday in a village near the capital, Belgrade.

The police said he killed his mother, his son and a two-year-old cousin before shooting himself and his wife. The two are in critical condition in a Belgrade hospital.

Police said they still did not know why the suspect, identified as Ljubisa Bogdanovic, went on the shooting spree.

They said he had no criminal record or history of mental illness, but he did fight in the bloody Balkan wars in the
1990s and lost his job a year ago at a wood processing factory.

Wife speaks

Milorad Veljovic, head of Serbian police,  said that he hoped the suspect's wife could provide the motive.

Davorka Bogdanovic, 60, who has severe neck and head gunshot wounds, was still able to communicate with the hospital staff.

Belgrade media quoted her as telling doctors that ``there were no hints that he would do this.''

``He had a bad temper, but I didn't dream of this,'' the Vecernje Novosti newspaper quoted her as saying.

It was the killing spree with the most victims in Serbia in two decades, a police source told the AFP news agency.

The victims were killed about 0300 GMT in five different houses in the village of Velika Ivanca, about 50km south of Belgrade, inhabited mostly by the gunman's relatives, Veljovic said.

All the victims were sleeping when they were attacked and were practically all shot in the head, he said.

Police later found the suspect in the yard of one of the houses where he tried to commit suicide and he was taken to hospital.

'Nice man'

Residents of the village described Bogdanovic, the suspected gunman, as a nice, quiet man.

"He knocked on the doors and as they were opened he just fired a shot," said resident Radovan Radosavljevic. "He was a good neighbour and anyone would open their doors to him. I don't know what happened."

Police have sealed off the access to the five houses, located on a hill in a remote area of the village of some 1,700 inhabitants.

"I talked to him yesterday. I asked him how he was, and he said fine. He asked me about my health," Stanica Kostadinovic, a visibly shocked neighbour in her 60s, told AFP.

"He was the best neighbour. Nothing indicated that such a thing could happen. Only he knows the motive for the killing."

"He was a good host, he and his son, nice, hard-working, always ready to help," the woman said, adding that as far as she knew the killer was not consuming alcohol.

According to police, the man had a firearms licence.

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Source:
Agencies
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