Attacker wounds cop guarding Israeli embassy in Serbia, shot dead by authorities

Both Serbian and Israeli officials said that initial indications are that it was a terror-motivated attack.
Police officers work at a crime scene close to the Israeli embassy in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday.
Police officers work at a crime scene close to the Israeli embassy in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday.Photo | AP

BELGRADE: An attacker with a crossbow wounded a Serbian police officer guarding the Israeli Embassy in Belgrade on Saturday, Serbia’s interior ministry said. The officer responded by fatally shooting the assailant.

Both Serbian and Israeli officials said that initial indications are that it was a terror-motivated attack.

Interior Minister Ivica Dacic said in a statement that the attacker fired a bolt at the officer, hitting him in the neck. He said the officer then "used a weapon in self-defense to shoot the attacker, who died as a result of his injuries.”

The policeman was conscious when he was transported to Belgrade's main emergency hospital, where an operation to remove the bolt from his neck will be performed, the statement added.

A spokesman with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that “today there was an attempted terrorist attack in the vicinity of the Israeli Embassy in Belgrade.” The spokesman said the embassy is closed and no employee of the embassy was injured.

Dacic told reporters that “we are still talking about possible motives."

Police officers work at a crime scene close to the Israeli embassy in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday.
A Palestinian was shot, beaten and tied to an Israeli army jeep. The army says he posed no threat

He added, however: “There are now all indications that the motives relate to terrorism. Because there is no other motive why someone would attack a gendarme outside the Israeli Embassy.”

He said one person was arrested near the scene of the shooting. Police are investigating a possible network and ties with foreign terrorist groups, he added.

“There are indications that those are individuals already known to the security services … the Wahhabi movement,” said Dacic, referring to the hard-line Islamist movement. “But this still has not been confirmed.”

The identity of the attacker was still being determined.

Authorities raised the security alert in Belgrade, including for foreign embassies and government buildings but also public places such as shopping malls and other busy areas.

Israel's embassy is located not far from the U.S. Embassy in an upscale Belgrade district. It is guarded by an elite police unit with officers armed with automatic weapons.

Serbia has maintained close relations with Israel during the war in Gaza.

Police officers work at a crime scene close to the Israeli embassy in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday.
Israel lets 19 kids leave Gaza who are sick or wounded, first medical evacuation in nearly two months

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com