Home Startups Serbia shooting: Hundreds of special forces launch manhunt after second mass shooting in two days

Serbia shooting: Hundreds of special forces launch manhunt after second mass shooting in two days

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Man suspected of killing at least eight people Serbia was arrested following a massive manhunt, leaving the country reeling from its second mass shooting in just two days.

The latest shooting occurred Thursday evening when an attacker opened fire in the village of Dubona, about 60 kilometers southeast of the Serbian capital Belgrade, Serbian media reported.

He then fled the scene, before opening fire in two other villages, Mali Orasje and Sepsin.

More than 600 members of Serbian special forces were deployed to search for the suspect, according to public broadcaster RTS, with authorities deploying helicopters and thermal cameras. All special police units were engaged, including an anti-terrorist unit, a helicopter unit and the police forces of the cities of Belgrade and Smederevo.

Andrej Isakovic/AFP/Getty Images

Thursday’s attack was the second mass shooting in Serbia in two days.

Antonio Tronic/Reuters

An ambulance passes a checkpoint following a shooting in Dubona, Serbia, May 5, 2023.

The suspect – identified by authorities as a 21-year-old man named Uros B – was arrested Friday morning. Serbian police confiscated four hand grenades from the house where the suspect was hiding, according to RTS.

The Interior Ministry confirmed to CNN that it was treating the incident as an act of domestic terrorism, but did not elaborate further.

A police officer and his sister were among those killed, according to local media.

Milos Stanisavljević, a local resident, left his house in Sepsin at night to see what was happening outside. The police mistook him for the shooter and arrested him. He was later released without charge.

“My family stayed in the house. My child was sleeping,” Stanisavljevic told CNN. He described how police swept through the city, inspecting each house one by one. “It was dark and we didn’t know where (the shooter) was hiding.”

“I was so scared,” he said.

Antonio Tronic/Reuters

A member of the forensic team inspects the crime scene on Friday.

On Wednesday, Serbia was shaken by news of 13-year-old boy opening fire on classmates in a school in the capital Belgrade. This shooting left at least eight people dead, as well as a security guard.

Serbian President Aleksander Vucic expressed his condolences to the victims of the two attacks and promised that the government would make urgent changes to weapons legislation.

“We are united in pain and grief,” Vucic told reporters at a news conference Friday morning. “This is an attack on our entire country and every citizen feels it.”

He announced that Serbia would hire 1,200 new police officers over the next six months to increase security in schools and pledged to introduce stricter gun control laws.

Among the proposed changes were stricter conditions for purchasing weapons, doubling fines for people who break the law, requiring hunters to undergo annual checks and a national gun buyback program. weapons for those who cannot meet the stricter conditions.

Until this week, mass shootings were rare in Serbia, despite the country’s high rate of gun ownership. Serbia has the highest level of civilian arms ownership in Europe and the fifth highest in the world – a legacy of years of conflict in the 1990s.

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