BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) _ The death of a former interior minister and top aide to ex-President Slobodan Milosevic was an apparent suicide, police said Wednesday.

Zoran Sokolovic's body was found Tuesday in his car in his native village of Lepen, near the town of Knjazevac, 120 miles southeast of capital Belgrade.

A police statement faxed to The Associated Press said that the first results of the investigation indicate Sokolovic ``most likely committed suicide with a pistol.''

The statement added that an autopsy was being performed.

Sokolovic first became the interior minister in Serbia, the dominant Yugoslav republic, in 1991. He moved up to the equivalent post in Yugoslav government in the late 1990s.

Throughout the decade, he was considered one of Milosevic's closest associates. When Milosevic's government and power pyramid crumbled in a popular uprising last October, Sokolovic fell out of the public's eye.

He was 68.