French photographer Georges Merillon has won the 1990 World Press award for the best photograph of the year for his striking picture of a demonstrator shot by Yugoslav soldiers during clashes in Kosovo province.

The picture, titled "Mourning in Kosovo," shows Elshani Nasim, 27, lying gravely wounded in his bed surrounded by the weeping women of his village. He was shot during violent protests by ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.Merillon's picture was chosen as the overall winner and best spot news photo from more than 11,000 entries by an international jury from the World Press Photo Foundation. Nearly 1,400 photographers from 61 countries took part in the competition.

Merillon, who works for Gamma pictures, will receive $8,500 in prize money with an exhibition of his work to be staged in Amsterdam.

Another French photographer, Patrick Robert of Sygma, was runnerup in the spot news category for his picture of terrified refugees fleeing the civil war in Liberia.

Zimbabwean photographer Mark Peters, who works for Newsweek magazine, took third place with his picture of a black township burning during riots in South Africa last year.