‘Probable Islamist’ kills two Bosnian soldiers in suicide attack

‘Probable Islamist’ kills two Bosnian soldiers in suicide attack

Assailant opens fire on troops, bus before blowing self up near Sarajevo; anti-terror chief says accounts point to attacker being jihadist

Bosnian policemen are seen while securing a of a shooting and bombing attack near Sarajevo on November 19, 2015. (AFP/ELVIS BARUKCIC)
Bosnian policemen are seen while securing a of a shooting and bombing attack near Sarajevo on November 19, 2015. (AFP/ELVIS BARUKCIC)

SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina — Two members of Bosnia’s armed forces were killed on Wednesday night when a man attacked them with automatic weapons near a barracks in Sarajevo before blowing himself up, police said.

Dozens of special forces police officers were dispatched to the scene after the attack in a betting shop in a suburb of the Bosnian capital.

They then trapped the killer, a 34-year-old man reported to be a member of an Islamist group, inside a house, where he blew himself up at around midnight local time.

“When the police surrounded the house, an explosion rang out. They found the corpse of a man who had killed himself inside the house,” police official Vehid Cosic told media.

Police spokesman Irfan Nefic said two military personnel were killed in the attack, and a bus driver and two passengers were also injured by broken glass when the assailant shot at a bus as he left the scene.

“A man was firing an automatic weapon. Two people were killed, who were members of the Bosnian armed forces,” he added.

The director of Bosnia’s anti-terror agency Sipa, Perica Stanic, told the Dnevi Avaz daily witness accounts supported the idea the attacker was “probably” an Islamist.

Nefic said the police could not comment until the investigation was completed.

Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic also refused to say whether the attacker was a jihadist, but promised to “punish” those responsible.

“To fire on military personnel is to fire on the state,” he said after holding an emergency meeting with security officials.

The attack comes two days before the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Accords, a 1995 pact which ended an inter-ethnic war in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia.

Last year a 24-year-old Bosnian Islamist killed a policeman and injured two others when he attacked a police station in the eastern city of Zvornik with a shotgun, before being shot.

Muslims make up about 40 percent of Bosnia’s 3.8 million people while the rest of the Balkan country’s population is mostly Serbian Orthodox or Catholic.

The vast majority of Bosnian Muslims are moderates but a tiny minority openly support radical Wahhabism.

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