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Yugoslav Presidential Aide Killed

October 24, 1997

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) _ A top aide to both Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and his wife Mirjana Markovic was gunned down early Friday, police reported.

Zoran Todorovic, 38, was the third associate of Milosevic and his family to be killed this year. The shooting was certain to increase tensions among Yugoslavia’s ruling elite.

Immediately after the slaying, Serbian police with submachine guns blocked Belgrade bridges over the Sava River, stopping cars, checking the identity of passengers and searching for guns.

Todorovic was found in a pool of blood near the offices of Beopetrol, one of the biggest oil companies in what remains of Yugoslavia. He was a top manager at the firm.

Independent Radio B-92 reported that Todorovic, who was close to the Milosevic family, was shot near his parked car. Police said another man, Sinisa Milenkovic, 32, was shot and wounded. He was in critical condition in a Belgrade hospital, a hospital source said.

Todorovic had accumulated considerable personal wealth, reportedly through murky business dealings.

In April, a police general and top security aide to Milosevic was riddled with bullets while dining in a Belgrade restaurant. Two months earlier, a business partner of Milosevic’s son Marko was killed in a mob-style hit. No one has been arrested in those killings.

The democratic opposition despised Todorovic, a wealthy businessman who spoke of social justice and supported the neo-communist theories of Mrs. Markovic.

He was particularly close to her, which critics said provided him with favorable business opportunities and considerable influence.

Todorovic began his career as a youth activist in the League of Yugoslav Communists, the ruling party which was later renamed the Socialist Party.

In the late 1980s, he held a high position in the party’s important Belgrade branch. He later joined Markovic’s party.

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