Gunman targets US embassy in Bosnian capital

Armed man injures at least one policeman in Sarajevo before being arrested in incident described as "terrorist attack".

     

    An armed man who opened fire at the US embassy in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, injuring at least one police officer who was guarding the building, has been shot and arrested.

    Bosnian national radio said on Friday that police were searching the vicinity of the embassy for possible accomplices.

    Bakir Izetbegovic, the Bosniak member of the country's three-member presidency, said in a statement that he strongly condemned "the terrorist attack on the embassy of the United States in Bosnia-Herzegovina".

    The local FTV television station identified the alleged shooter as Mevlid Jasarevic, 23, from the southern Serbian city of Novi Pazar.

    The security minister of Bosnia told Al Jazeera that the attacker was involved in the Wahabi Muslim movement in eastern Bosnia.

    Stefan Goranovic, a reporter for Al Jazeera Balkans, said: "The information confirmed to us is that the attacker on the US embassy here in Sarajevo is a 23-year-old man from Serbia, and a Serbian citizen.

    "He opened fire sometime at 3:35pm local time. Special forces and police units arrived 10 minutes after. They surrounded him and were forced to shoot him."

    'Proven friend' 

    Goranovic said the man has been taken to a hospital where he will spend the night and be questioned by the state prosecutor.

    According to the AFP news agency, Serbian police said the gunman was arrested in Serbia last year when police found he was carrying a knife during a visit by Mary Warlick, the US ambassador to Serbia, to the Sandzak region on the border between Serbia and Montenegro.

    Witness Jasminka Fisic, who was close to the embassy, located in the centre of Sarajevo near the iconic Holiday Inn hotel, told AFP that the entire area was sealed off with police cars speeding towards the embassy.

    Izetbegovic said the shooting spree must be promptly and efficiently investigated and that the US was a "proven friend of Bosnia-Herzegovina".

    Bosnia was torn apart by war in 1992-95 between its Bosniak, Croat and Serb communities.

    The US embassy in Sarajevo closed briefly in March 2002 citing an unspecified threat, but the building has not come
    under attack before.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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