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Alleged Muslim extremist opens fire on US Embassy in Bosnia

A man has opened fire on the US Embassy in Bosnia, injuring at least one Bosnian police officer. Officials have labeled the shooting a "terrorist attack" and have blamed it on a Muslim extremist.

Gunman on street

The gunman was wounded by police and taken to a hospital

A man opened fire outside the US embassy in Bosnia on Friday in what authorities have labeled an act of terrorism.

At least one police officer was injured in the attack in the capital, Sarajevo, which after a 30-minute standoff with police ended with the gunman being shot. He was arrested with wounds and was reportedly being treated in a hospital. The embassy said none of its employees had been injured.

"The person who fired an automatic weapon was wounded and arrested during the police operation," police spokesman Irfan Nefic told national BHT television. "After receiving medical treatment on the scene the person was hospitalized."

'Terrorist attack'

Bakir Izetbegovic and two other presidents

Bakir Izetbegovic, right, is a member of Bosnia's three-man presidency

Bakir Izetbegovic, the Muslim member of Bosnia's three-person presidency, condemned the "terrorist attack" and called for the incident to be investigated.

"I expect the competent authorities to carry out a quick and efficient investigation of this senseless act," he said in a statement. "The United States is a proven friend of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Its government and its people supported us in the most difficult moments in our history and nobody has the right to jeopardize our relations."

Bosnian television identified the shooter as a 23-year-old man from Novi Pazar, Serbia. It said the man was a follower of Wahhabism, an extremely conservative branch of Islam rooted in Saudi Arabia and linked to Islamist militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Serbian police said they arrested the suspect in Serbia last year when he was caught carrying a knife during a visit by the American ambassador to the Sandzak region near the border with Montenegro. The region has an important Muslim community.

The gunman wore a beard and was dressed in garb typical for a Wahhabi.

Author: Andrew Bowen (AP, AFP)
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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