“Terrorist” crossbow attack in front of the Israeli embassy in Belgrade

The attack took place around 11 a.m. and “it is still unknown whether the embassy itself or its employees” were the target, observed Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty (RFE-RL)before unrolling the thread of events.

The assailant, aged 25, “approached the guard to ask about a museum and other sites nearby. The officer replied that there was no museum nearby”the site says. After walking away for a while, the young man returned to the sentry box, “took the crossbow out of a bag and shot the guard in the neck”. The latter then “opened fire” on his assailant, “who died shortly after”.

“The embassy was closed for the weekend at the time of the attack”, precise Ynet News. “Israeli Ambassador Yahel Vilan confirmed the incident and wished the officer a speedy recovery.” adds the Israeli site. Hospitalized in critical condition, the 34-year-old police officer underwent surgery and his condition is stable.

Arrest in connection with attack

“This is a terrorist act against Serbia”Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic told the press, adding that the assailant and his possible accomplices were suspected of having “connections with the Wahhabi movement” – an ultraconservative branch of Sunni Islam, the majority in Saudi Arabia.

“Serbian authorities identified the attacker as Milos Zujovic, born in 1999 in the town of Mladenovac, about 48 km from the capital,” reports the BBC. He settled in Novi Pazar“the cultural centre of the Bosnian Muslim minority”and since his conversion to Islam had worn the “religious name” of Saladin, specifies British radio and television.

Mr. Dacic “specified that a person had been arrested near the scene of the attack” and the police were investigating “on a possible network and links with foreign terrorist groups”, writing Euronews.

The arrested man is a Belgrade resident who had already had a run-in with the law two years ago for running several websites calling for “jihad”. He is suspected of having “directly participated in logistical support and organization” of Saturday’s attack, the minister said.

“Close relations” between Serbia and Israel

For his part, Serbian Prime Minister Milos Vucevic denounced a “heinous terrorist act”. “This is an act of madness that cannot be attributed to any religion or nation. It is the crime of an individual”he said, calling on his compatriots to “stay calm and do not succumb to propaganda”according to BBC.

On X, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz thanked the Serbian authorities for their “strong support and cooperation”, adding that “the“Terrorism cannot be tolerated!”.

Al-Jazeera observed that “Serbia has maintained close relations with Israel” in recent months, in particular by continuing to sell him weapons. “Israel-related institutions around the world are on high alert for attacks and protests”since the start of the war between the Hebrew state and Hamas on October 7, notes the Qatari channel.

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