Bulgarian PM Borissov condemns murder of Serb politician Ivanović in Kosovo

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Ivanovic, 64, was gunned down in front of his party office in Mitrovica, a town bitterly divided between ethnic Serbs and Albanians, shortly after 8am local time. Efforts by Kosovan politicians to scrap a new court tasked with investigating alleged war crimes by former KLA fighters have also raised tensions and set Pristina on a collision course with the U.S. and EU.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, whose country now holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, said on January 16 that he categorically condemns the murder of Oliver Ivanović, a Serb political leader shot dead in Mitrovica earlier the same day. It is not yet known who was responsible for the shooting.

Kosovo declared independence from in 2008 - after almost a decade of rule by global powers that came after a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation bombing campaign ended the late-1990s war.

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The head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Ambassador Jan Braathu, said he was "shocked and deeply saddened" and considered Ivanovic "among the most prominent Kosovo Serb representatives for nearly two decades".

"Sadness to the sky!" posted Natasa Simic, while another commenter, Aleksandra Ljumovic, wrote "Fury in silence. silence".

The US ambassador to Kosovo, Greg Delawie, also condemned Ivanovic's murder.

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The director of Serbia's government office for Kosovo, Marko Djuric, told the Serbian Tanjug news agency that Ivanovic's killing was "an act of terrorism". They planned to discuss the issues of auto register plates and functioning of the bridge in Kosovska Mitrovica that divides the northern Serbian and southern Albanian parts of the city. Entrance to his party's premises has been blocked.

Police arrested him in 2014 and two years later Ivanovic was convicted of war crimes by a panel of worldwide judges for ordering the murder of nine ethnic Albanians in April 1999. He served as the state secretary of the Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija from 2008 to 2012.

The Kosovo government, led by some former commanders of ethnic Albanian guerrillas who rose up against Belgrade's repressive rule in the late 1990s, also condemned the attack. That verdict was overturned and a retrial was underway. Ivanovic entered politics and became known for advocating dialogue and compromise with Kosovo Albanians, while still rejecting Kosovo's sovereignty.

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A January 16 statement by the European External Action Service (EEAS) said that EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini had spoken by phone to presidents Aleksandar Vučić of Serbia and Hashim Thaçi of Kosovo following the killing of Ivanović.

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