A remote-controlled car bomb exploded Tuesday as the president of Macedonia drove by, seriously injuring him and killing his driver.
President Kiro Gligorov lost his right eye in the blast, according to Saso Ordanoski, director of Radio-Television Skopje.
In hours of neurosurgery, doctors removed shrapnel from the 78-year-old president’s head. Surgeons from France and Yugoslavia assisted, and U.S. doctors were en route.
The bombing raised concerns about the possibility of increased violence in the Balkan nation, which declared its independence from the former Yugoslav federation in January, 1992. More than 500 U.S. soldiers are part of a U.N. peacekeeping force in Macedonia.
Two suspects in their mid-20s were arrested in the bombing, authorities said, but their identities were not released. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, which also wounded Gligorov’s security officer and five pedestrians.