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Serb Paramilitary Leader Arkan Shot

January 15, 2000

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) _ Zeljko Raznatovic, the notorious Serb paramilitary leader better known as Arkan, was shot and seriously wounded Saturday in a Belgrade hotel, police said.

Arkan was shot in the head and taken to a hospital for emergency surgery, said police at the scene who spoke on condition of anonymity. One of his body guards was killed and another person also seriously injured when unknown assailants opened fire on them in the lobby of the Intercontinental Hotel.

A source in the hotel, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said the gunmen escaped. Police arrived at the scene and were investigating.

The source said Arkan was hit by at least one round from a Heckler and Koch submachine gun. He identified the dead body guard as Momcilo Mandic.

Arkan was indicted for war crimes in Bosnia in September 1997, but the indictment was kept under wraps until the NATO air campaign in the Balkans began in March. His paramilitary forces also have been accused of involvement in atrocities during the Croatian war, which broke out in 1991. Arkan’s forces sided with Serb rebels in both wars.

The tribunal made public his indictment in an apparent attempt to dissuade him from joining the Serb crackdown in Kosovo

He has denied involvement in war crimes.

Reputedly one of Serbia’s richest men, Arkan is wanted for bank robberies in Western Europe in the 1970s and 1980s. He also is believed to have amassed wealth from war profiteering.

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