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Serbian Opposition Leader Wounded

June 16, 2000

BUDVA, Yugoslavia (AP) _ Serb opposition leader Vuk Draskovic was slightly wounded when gunmen sprayed automatic weapons fire through an open window at his vacation home, his party said Friday.

The shooting occurred around midnight Thursday near this coastal town in Montenegro where Draskovic had been vacationing for two days. His Serbian Renewal Movement called the shooting a ``new assassination attempt″ on its leader.

Draskovic was alone in the house when the assailants ``sprayed machine gun fire″ through an open window into the living room, a Draskovic spokesman, Milena Popovic, told The Associated Press in Belgrade. The house was ``peppered with bullets,″ she said.

Draskovic’s head was grazed by two bullets. He was brought to a hospital, treated and released.

``This time again, only God saved Vuk,″ Popovic said.

On Friday, Montenegro’s police setup roadblocks on roads leading to Budva, a resort on the Adriatic Sea, 25 miles southwest of Montenegro’s capital Podgorica.

The incident was the latest in a series of attacks against prominent figures in Yugoslavia. On May 31, Goran Zugic, the national security adviser to Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic, was gunned down in front of his home in Podgorica.

In January, Serbia’s most infamous warlord Zeljko Raznatovic, known as Arkan, was murdered in Belgrade. One month later, Defense Minister Pavle Bulatovic was shot dead in a restaurant in Yugoslav capital.

On Oct. 3, Draskovic survived a road accident in which three members of his party associates, including his brother-in-law, were killed.

Draskovic himself suffered only minor injuries but called the incident an assassination attempt.

At the time, Draskovic was in a car convoy when a truck coming the other way swerved off its lane, crashing into two cars in Draskovic’s convoy.

Following the accident, Draskovic appeared less in public and kept a somewhat lower profile but made several blatant accusations against Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, whom he blamed for ``state terrorism.″

Draskovic and his party are considered key Milosevic opponents, despite occasional cooperation with the Serb strongman, such as during NATO’s bombing campaign last year when Draskovic briefly joined Milosevic’s government.

Last summer and fall, Draskovic also refused to join daily street protests organized by a rival opposition group demanding Milosevic’s ouster, arguing that protests could lead to a civil war in Serbia.

Instead, he is demanding Milosevic resign and all-out early elections be held only after free and fair election conditions can be implemented.

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