Serb chief defiant after foiled attempt on his life

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The Independent Online

Following an apparent attempt on his life, Serbia's President Boris Tadic said yesterday that no threats would prevent him from "pursuing the mission of establishing democracy in the country".

Following an apparent attempt on his life, Serbia's President Boris Tadic said yesterday that no threats would prevent him from "pursuing the mission of establishing democracy in the country".

Mr Tadic, 46, addressed reporters after he escaped unhurt from what appears to have been an assassination attempt on Tuesday evening. A black Audi repeatedly tried to crash into Mr Tadic's vehicle but was cut off by another car from his motorcade in a high-speed race in Belgrade's upmarket Dedinje neighbour- hood. The black Audi fled the scene and has not been found.

In 2003, Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic was killed in Belgrade. The attempt against Mr Tadic's life clearly showed that anti-Western and anti-reform forces are deeply rooted in Serbian society.

The car chase had ominous resemblance with the event preceding the assassination of MrDjindjic. A small truck tried to run Mr Djindjic's car off the road in February 2003.

The following month, Mr Djindjic was shot dead in front of the government office with a single bullet that went through his heart.

But yesterday Mr Tadic said: "There's no reason to dramatise the situation ... However, one should be serious about this ...It's not the first threat against me.

Mr Djindjic and Mr Tadic's reformist Democratic party led the popular uprising that ousted Slobodan Milosevic in 2000.

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