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Slovakia to hold day of mourning tomorrow for victims of massacre

Bratislava, 1.9.2010 21:35, (ROMEA)

Tomorrow Slovakia will commemorate the victims of Monday’s massacre in the Devínska Nová Ves quarter of Bratislava with a state day of mourning. The government made the decision at an extraordinary cabinet session today. The cabinet also approved compensation for relatives of the victims of the tragedy and those injured. The 48-year-old attacker shot seven people and injured 15 others, including a Czech citizen, before committing suicide after evidently being fatally shot by a police bullet.

The day of mourning will officially begin at 8 AM CET and will end 10 hours later at 6 PM CET. Slovak flags will be flown at half-mast during this time and gambling will be forbidden.

"This is a completely new kind of event for the Slovak Republic, an event in which one person drove all of Slovakia into a state of fear,” Slovak PM Iveta Radičová said after the extraordinary cabinet meeting.

The massacre shook the entire country and was reported by many foreign media. The attacker, who according to police was unemployed and a recreational gun user, killed six members of a Roma family who were his neighbors. A woman who went out onto her balcony also lost her life during random street shooting. After the attack, 10 injured people remain in Bratislava hospitals, three of them in critical condition.

Slovak Social Affairs Minister Jozef Mihál said after the cabinet session that the state will provide the bereaved and the injured a humanitarian contribution of up to EUR 830 as part of their compensation. However, the Labor Office will first confirm the applicants’ social conditions and the Slovak Labor and Social Affairs Ministry will then decide on the disbursal. The state is prepared to pay the bereaved not quite EUR 80 for funeral costs.

The most recent day of mourning was announced in Slovakia this past April for the victims of the Polish air accident in Smolensk, Western Russia, during which high representatives of Poland including Polish President Lech Kaczyński perished. Prior to that, a state day of morning was announced last summer in honor of 20 victims of a mine explosion in the town of Handlová.

ČTK, Gwendolyn Albert, Czech Press Agency, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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