Serbian man kills 13 people in armed rampage in village


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The Independent Online

Doctors were trying to save the life of a 60-year-old man last night who shot dead 13 people, including six women and a two-year-old boy, in a pre-dawn rampage in Serbia.

According to reports Ljubisa Bogdanovic, who was armed with a 9mm pistol, killed his mother and son at their home before picking off his neighbours as he moved from house to house. He then shot his wife, Javorku, as she called the police, before turning the gun on himself when officers arrived. Javorku, who is also 60, was being treated alongside her husband in a hospital in the capital, Belgrade.

Neighbours reported that five members of a single family were among his victims.

The massacre took place over 30 minutes in the village of Velika Ivanca, 50km south of Belgrade. “This tragedy is one we have not seen before,” said local police chief Milorad Veljovic. “Bogdanovic is from a quiet family; he did not have a criminal record. We are shocked,” he added.

Bogdanovic is not thought to have a history of psychiatric problems, although he is a veteran of the 1991 Croatian war of independence and last year lost his job. His neighbours said his father and uncle both committed suicide over a year ago.

“He was a quiet man,” said his neighbour Stanica Kostadinovic. “He was always looking to help everyone, and neither he nor his son got into any trouble with anyone,” she added.

Handguns are easily available in Serbia following the Balkan wars of the 1990s. Bogdanovic is thought to have had a licence for his weapon, according to local reports.