Gunman Wounded After Opening Fire At US Embassy in Bosnia

Posted October 28th, 2011 at 4:15 pm (UTC-5)
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VIDEO: APExpress 4 – 28.10.2011 14:29:00 – AP-APTN-1830: Bosnia Shooting

A suspected radical Islamist was wounded and arrested after opening fire at the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia's capital Sarajevo.

Bosnian news reports say two policemen were also wounded in the altercation. Reports say the gunman was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle. He was shot in a leg by a police sniper.

The area around the embassy has been cordoned off and the security has been stepped up.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, Victoria Nuland, said that one of the outer walls of the embassy was damaged, but that none of the people in the building were hurt. She praised local authorities for a swift response.

Bakir Izetbegovic, a member of Bosnia's presidency, issued a statement condemning what he called the terrorist attack on the embassy.

Local news media identify the gunman as Mevlid Jasarevic from the southern Serbian town of Novi Pazar, which is the center of the mostly Muslim Sandzak region. He has been hospitalized.

The reasons for the shooting were not immediately clear.

Bosnia was the scene of a bloody ethnic conflict in the early 1990s between its Croat, Muslim and Serb communities.

During the war, many radical Islamists from Muslim countries came as volunteers to support Bosnian Muslims and brought to the Balkans the conservative branch of Islam known as wahhabism, which is dominant in Saudi Arabia.

Most Bosnian Muslims are protective of their relationship with the United States because it supported a NATO intervention to end the fighting and brokered the 1995 peace agreement.