Bomber's motives 'unclear' Croatian hunted over bomb

TONY BARBER

Europe Editor

Ten days after President Kiro Gligorov of Macedonia was almost killed by a car bomb in Skopje, government officials and police investigators are uncertain if the assassination attempt was related to Balkan politics or organised crime. No group or individual has claimed responsibility, no arrests have been made, and all the Macedonian authorities are saying is that the attack bore the marks of a professional killer or hit squad from abroad.

"The way the assassination attempt was carried out points to an international terrorist organisation, but for the moment we are not announcing anything," the deputy interior minister, Dime Gjurev, said on Tuesday.

However, the authorities have released a description of the man who bought the Citroen that exploded in Skopje on 3 October, causing serious eye and head injuries to Mr Gligorov, 78, and killing his driver as they passed by in the president's car. He is said to be blond, 5ft 7ins tall, and aged about 30.

This man bought the Citroen in Skopje on 24 September for 650 German marks (pounds 290), according to the newspaper Nova Makedonija. It said he spoke a Serbo-Croat dialect common to a region of northern Croatia.

Immediately after the attack, some Balkan experts pointed the finger of guilt at Macedonian nationalists opposed to Mr Gligorov's recent concessions to Greece on the flag and constitution of his young state. Mr Gligorov had further annoyed the nationalist opposition by seeking better relations with Serbia.

The main group opposed to Mr Gligorov's policies has been the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation (VMRO), a party with a rich tradition of political violence earlier in this century. However, VMRO's leadership has vigorously denied involvement.

Some argue the would-be killers are more likely to be connected with gangs involved in the burgeoning drug trade and money-laundering in Macedonia.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Call Centre Manager - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative online car purc...

Recruitment Genius: Subscriptions and Marketing Assistant

£12500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A subscriptions and marketing a...

Metail Ltd: Business Development Manager for Asia Pacific

£35,000 - £40,000 based on experience : Metail Ltd: As a Business Development ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Supervisor

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well establis...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate