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Bosnian Serbs Honor Assassin Who Started World War I

Bosnian Serb leaders have countered the country’s official commemoration of the act that triggered World War I one century ago -- the killing of Archduke Franz Ferdinand -- by unveiling a statue honoring the assassin.

Nebojsa Radmanovic, the Serb member of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency, unveiled the 2-meter bronze statue of Gavrilo Princip on June 27 in majority Serb east Sarajevo.

The event was sponsored by Milorad Dodik, the president of Bosnia’s Republika Srpska entity.

Bosnia is officially marking the June 28 centenary of the archduke with a concert in Sarajevo by the Vienna Philharmonic that will be attended by Austrian President Heinz Fischer.

Leaders of Serbia and the Bosnian Serbs -- who consider Princip a heroic freedom fighter for Slavs -- are boycotting the concert.

Dodik says Bosnia’s peoples “are still divided,” and they “think and work differently” in regard to the Sarajevo assassination.

Based on reporting by Reuters and B92