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    Crossbow Attack on Israeli Embassy in Serbia Sparks Terrorism Probe

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    Crossbow Attack on Israeli Embassy in Serbia Sparks Terrorism Probe
    • June 30, 2024 • 22 days ago
    in summary
    Serbian police are investigating potential connections to foreign terrorist groups following a crossbow attack on an Israeli embassy guard in Belgrade. The assailant, who inquired about a nearby museum before shooting the guard, was shot and later died from his injuries. Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic labeled the incident a terrorist attack against Serbia. Authorities arrested one person near the scene and are probing a possible network linked to known security threats. The injured police officer is in stable condition after surgery. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic vowed a severe crackdown on terrorism, while Prime Minister Milos Vucevic condemned the attack as a heinous terrorist act, assuring citizens of their safety. The Israeli embassy remains closed during the ongoing investigation.

    Serbian authorities are deeply investigating the possible connections to foreign terrorist groups following a brazen crossbow attack on an Israeli embassy guard in Belgrade. The incident, which Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic has labeled a “terrorist attack against Serbia,” has sparked a comprehensive probe into the motives and potential networks behind the assailant.

    The attack occurred when a man approached the police officer guarding the Israeli embassy, repeatedly asking for directions to a nearby museum. During one of these encounters, the assailant pulled a crossbow from a bag and shot the officer in the neck. Despite his injuries, the officer managed to fire several shots at the attacker, who was later pronounced dead due to the injuries sustained. The identity of the assailant is still being determined, and one individual has been arrested near the scene as part of the ongoing investigation.

    Interior Minister Dacic emphasized the seriousness of the incident, stating, “This is a terrorist attack against Serbia. We are still talking about possible motives.” He further mentioned that the police are looking into a possible network and ties with “foreign terrorist groups,” adding, “There are indications that those are individuals already known to the security services.

    The injured police officer was quickly transported to Belgrade’s main hospital, where he underwent surgery to remove the arrow. Hospital officials have confirmed that he is in stable condition following the procedure. The attack has raised concerns about security at the embassy, which is located in an upscale Belgrade district, not far from the United States embassy, and is guarded by an elite police unit armed with automatic weapons.

    Serbia has maintained close relations with Israel, particularly during Israel’s recent war on Gaza. This attack comes at a time when Israel-linked institutions worldwide are on high alert for potential attacks and protests. In a statement, the Israeli foreign ministry announced that the embassy in Belgrade would remain closed while the circumstances of the incident are being investigated. It also noted that no embassy employees were injured in the attack.

    Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic visited the wounded officer in the hospital and promised a robust response to terrorism. “We are hunting them down. We will have no mercy for terrorism in Serbia,” Vucic declared. Following the attack, several people believed to be linked to the incident were arrested, with Dacic noting, “There are some indications that those arrested are already known to security services.

    Serbian Prime Minister Milos Vucevic also strongly condemned the attack, describing it as a “heinous terrorist act.” He emphasized that the act could not be attributed to any religion or nation but was rather the crime of an individual. Vucevic assured Serbian citizens that the government would respond firmly to the threat of terrorism and that they could “feel safe.

    Officers remove the body of the suspect near the Israeli embassy in Belgrade [Zorana Jevtic/Reuters]
    Officers remove the body of the suspect near the Israeli embassy in Belgrade

    Investigators, clad in white forensic suits, were seen examining the scene of the attack, which was heavily guarded by police vehicles. The Serbian government’s swift and decisive response underscores the seriousness with which it is treating the threat of terrorism, especially given the broader context of heightened tensions and security concerns related to Israel’s actions in Gaza.

    As the investigation continues, the focus remains on uncovering any broader networks that may have supported or inspired the attack, ensuring the safety of both Serbian and Israeli interests, and maintaining public confidence in the government's ability to protect its citizens from such threats.

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