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Croatia vows action against crime wave


Croatian police officers secure the area where the daughter of a prominent Croat lawyer was shot dead yesterday in Zagreb.

ZAGREB (AFP) – Croatia’s government vowed yesterday to crack down on crime after a woman was shot dead in a mafia-style murder in Zagreb, the latest in a series of brutal attacks that have swept the capital.

“All those who are saying that something must be done to improve security in Croatia are right,” President Stipe Mesic told national radio.

“This is not the first murder. It was committed in broad daylight and citizens have the right to be alarmed,” he said, speaking from the eastern French town of Evian where he is participating at an international conference. The country’s National Council on Security is to meet to discuss the crime wave later this week upon Mesic’s return, local media reported.

Earlier yesterday, the daughter of a prominent lawyer was shot dead on the staircase of her building in downtown Zagreb, just near police headquarters, media and police said. Ivana Hodak, 26, was the daughter of Zvonimir Hodak, who confirmed her murder to media.

Local media reported that Zvonimir Hodak was a lawyer of former Croat General Vladimir Zagorec, who was recently extradited from Austria on charges of embezzling more than $5 million (3.25 million euros).

During the past few months, Zagreb has seen a series of brutal attacks and a murder, the perpetrators of which were never found.

“It is definitely a time when we have to eradicate the mafia. We will not tolerate organized crime or mafia-style murders,” Prime Minister Ivo Sanader said.

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