Bloomberg News

U.S. Embassy in Bosnian Capital in Lockdown After Gunfire

October 28, 2011

(adds comment from Bosnian president starting in first paragraph.)

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- A gunman fired on the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina today in attack that one of Bosnia’s three presidents denounced as a “terrorist act.”

Bosnian police snipers shot and wounded the assailant to stop him, Sarajevo police spokesman Irfan Nefic said in a telephone interview. One officer was “seriously injured” during the confrontation, Nefic said.

Serbian newspaper Blic reported on its website that the attacker cried “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is Great,” as he fired the gun. Blic identified the assailant as Mevlid Jasarevic from the mainly Muslim-populated village of Novi Pazar in Serbia.

Bakir Izetbegovic, the Muslim member of Bosnia’s shared presidency, condemned the shooting as “a terrorist act” and a “senseless act,” his spokesman Bahrudin Djapo said by phone.

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said no embassy personnel were hurt. Local newspaper Dnevni Avaz reported several people were injured outside the U.S. mission, including an embassy security guard who was taken to a hospital for treatment.

The embassy was in lockdown mode, Toner said.

Dnevni Avaz reported the bearded gunman had an accomplice who was armed and appeared to be wearing explosives around his waist. Bosnian authorities shot both assailants, according to the newspaper.

“We only have information at the moment about one gunmen” who was taken to a medical facility in police custody, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.

The U.S. brokered the 1995 Dayton Agreement that ended a war in the former Yugoslavia, and a NATO-led stabilization peacekeeping force was deployed until December 2004, when responsibility for safeguarding security was handed over to the European Union. Bosnia-Herzegovina became a NATO partner country in December 2006.

--with assistance from Gordana Filipovic in Belgrade, Serbia and Boris Cerni in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Editors: Steven Komarow, Terry Atlas

To contact the reporter on this story: Indira Lakshmanan in Washington at ilakshmanan@bloomberg.net; Jasmina Kuzmanovic in Zagreb, Crotia at jkuzmanovic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva in Washington at msilva34@bloomberg.net


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