Serbia shooting spree claims 13 lives

Thirteen people were killed in a village near Belgrade in Serbia by a man on shooting spree, officials said Tuesday.

Belgrade: A 60-year old man gunned down 13 people, including six women and a child, as he went on a shooting spree from house to house in a quiet village near Belgrade today before trying to kill himself and his wife, police and hospital official said.

Belgrade emergency hospital spokeswoman Nada Macura said the 60-year-old man identified only as Ljubisa B. Used a handgun in the rampage.

Villagers told Serbian reporters he first killed his son before leaving the house and shooting his neighbours, some of whom were still asleep.

Serbian police chief Milorad Veljovic said 12 people were killed on the spot, while one person died in a Belgrade hospital. He said the motive for the killings was not clear.

Although such random shootings are rare in Serbia, weapons are readily available mostly from the war in the Balkans in the 1990s and there is a tradition of possessing firearms.

Initial reports said the alleged killer had a license for the handgun he used in the shootings.

Macura said that after the shooting spree, the man tried to kill himself and his wife, who both were severely injured. Another person was also injured.

The killings happened between 5 am and 5:30 am in the village of Velika Ivanca, some 50 kilometers southeast of Belgrade.

Macura said that the alleged killer apparently had no history of mental illness. Police blocked off the village while they investigated.