Man shoots dead 13 relatives and neighbors in Serb village

A veteran of the 1990s Balkan wars shot dead 13 people, including his mother, son and a two-year-old child in a dawn rampage through a small village in central Serbia on Tuesday, authorities said.

Serbia Murders

By Fedja Grulovic

VELIKA IVANCA, Serbia | Tue Apr 9, 2013 11:55am EDT

(Reuters) – The man, identified by police as Ljubisa Bogdanovic, also shot his wife before turning the gun on himself. Both were in critical condition in hospital, police said.

“Most of the victims were shot in the head as they slept,” police chief Milorad Veljovic told reporters at the scene in Velika Ivanca, about 40 km (25 miles) southwest of Belgrade.

He said the victims were relatives and neighbors of the man: six men, six women and a child in five houses.

“We’ve never had such a tragedy in Serbia and we have to find out what drove this man to kill so many people as they slept,” said Veljovic. The government called a cabinet session.

The motive for the killings, carried out with a semi-automatic 9-mm pistol shortly after 5 a.m. (0300 GMT), was not known.

Veljovic said Bogdanovic, born in 1953, had fought the 1991-95 war in Croatia during the collapse of federal Yugoslavia and had a firearms permit. He and his son had lost their jobs with a Slovenian firm in Serbia last year.

Serbian media reports said the man’s father and uncle had both committed suicide several years ago.

Police said Bogdanovic turned the gun on himself after seeing a police patrol car approach the village.

“He’s a good man, everyone would open their doors to him, he helped everyone in the neighborhood,” said neighbor Milovan Konstantinovic.

“Something must have snapped in his head,” he said.

In 2007, a man in the eastern Serbian village of Jabukovac shot and killed nine people and wounded two, and in 2002, in the southern town of Leskovac a man shot dead seven people.


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Austria motorway hit by 100-vehicle crash in snow

Pile-up on A1 (ORF TV) Officials said 60 cars and about 40 lorries were involved in the pile-up


A pile-up involving about 100 vehicles on a snow-hit Austrian motorway has left at least one person dead.

Emergency officials said the crash scene on the west-bound A1 west of Vienna stretched for more than 2km (1.2 miles).

Six regional fire departments have been at the scene with ambulances and an emergency services helicopter, broadcaster ORF said.

A spell of freezing weather is causing disruption across Europe.

Officials said the accident happened near St Poelten, about 60km from the capital, and involved about 40 lorries and 60 cars.

Franz Resperger of the Lower Austrian fire department said the icy carriageway was a likely factor in the crash.

In southern Austria, at least 29 people were injured – six seriously – in two accidents inside road tunnels in the state of Styria, ORF reported. The A2 motorway, which runs through the tunnels, was blocked in both directions.

Elsewhere, record-breaking snowfall in the Ukrainian capital Kiev has caused traffic chaos and seen many residents taking to skis instead, AFP news agency reported

Heavy snow blanketing three regions of Romania has closed schools and disrupted road traffic.

The freezing weather has also caused chaos on Serbia’s northern border with Hungary where lorries queued for hours amid heavy snowfall.

Black ice coating roads in neighbouring Croatia has caused a spate of accidents, national TV reports said.


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