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News magazine director escapes assassination attempt

(IPI/IFEX) - The following is a press release by the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an IPI affiliate:

IPI / SEEMO Strongly Condemn Attempted Murder of Croatian Media Owner

Vienna, 11 April 2008 - The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), strongly condemns the attempted murder of Ivo Pukanic, co-owner and director of Nacional, a weekly news magazine from Croatia.

According to information before SEEMO, shortly before midnight on 9 April 2008, an unidentified assailant carrying a gun with a silencer approached Pukanic on the street in front of his apartment. The assailant first threatened to kill Pukanic, and then shot at him from a distance of several meters. When the first shot was fired, Pukanic ducked and the bullet narrowly missed his head. The assailant again pulled the trigger, but his weapon jammed up. He ultimately fled the scene without hitting Pukanic.

Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General, stated that "it is essential that the attacker is discovered. Pukanic is a well-known media owner, and his weekly Nacional has long played an important role in Croatia. We welcome the fact that Pukanic and his daughter received a 24-hour police escort for their protection."

SEEMO is very alarmed about this attack, and urges the Croatian authorities to do everything in their power to find those responsible, and to bring them to justice.

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