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Wreckage Of Trajkovski's Plane Found

Skopje, 27 February 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Police say they have spotted from the air the wreckage of the Macedonian president's plane, and rescuers on foot are heading to the crash site in mountainous southern Bosnia.

President Boris Trajkovski, along with eight others in the small plane, is presumed to have died in the crash yesterday in heavy fog.

In accordance with the constitution, the government has named parliament speaker Ljubco Jordanovski acting president. Bosnia and Macedonia have declared today a day of mourning for Trajkovski, age 47.

Late yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell joined world leaders in praising Trajkovski, in particular for his role in helping broker a peace deal with ethnic Albanian rebels in 2001 and averting civil war.

"He [Trajkovski] was a great friend of the United States. I have spoken to the new acting president and expressed the sympathy of the American people, condolences on behalf of the president [George W. Bush] and all the American people," Powell said.

Trajkovski had been flying to the Bosnian town of Mostar for an investment conference when his plane went down. The crash came the same day that Macedonia was to officially submit its application for membership in the European Union.

Click here for a biography of Trajkovski.