was killed on Thursday when his plane crashed in a mountainous part
of southern Bosnia en route to an international investment
conference, an official with Trajkovksi's party said. Vlatko
Djordjev, a spokesman for Trajkovski's party, VMRO-DPMNE, said he
was told by party headquarters in Skopje that the 47-year-old
Macedonian president was killed in the crash. The aircraft was a
Raytheon King Air. Bosnian search-teams scoured the rough
terrain in salvage operations.
The president's party initially said he died in the crash, which
happened in a remote, rocky area - treacherous in the bad weather
and heavily mined from Bosnia's 1992-1995 war. However, NATO
peacekeepers said the wreckage was not found, contrary to a report
by Bosnian police, and Macedonia's government said the president
was officially considered missing and presumed dead. An air search
was called off at nightfall, but foot patrols continued into the
evening, said Capt. Dave Sullivan, spokesman for NATO-led
peacekeepers aiding the search. Reconnaissance aircraft aiding the
effort were to resume efforts today at daybreak.
"We still don't have official information from Bosnian officials
that there are any survivors ... but they are saying that the
chances of anyone surviving are minimal," Macedonian Prime Minister
Branko Crvenkovski said in a nationally televised address.
Macedonia's government met in emergency session Thursday evening
and said parliament speaker Ljubco Jordanovski was the acting
president. The Defense Ministry said security was tightened along
the former Yugoslav republic's borders and at key state and army
Macedonia state radio switched to classical music and the
government declared a day of mourning after President Boris
Trajkovski was declared missing and later presumed dead.