A gunman who fatally shot two soldiers and injured five other people on Sarajevo’s outskirts has killed himself, after Bosnian police surrounded the home in which he was holed up.
Sarajevo police official Vahid Cosic told Bosnia media early on November 19 that police had cordoned off the building when they heard two explosions and, rushing in, found the man dead.
Hours earlier, the man opened fire with an automatic rifle at a betting shop in Rajlovac, on Sarajevo’s outskirts, killing two soldiers.
Police spokesman Irfan Nefic said the attacker then shot at a public bus as he was escaping and fragments of broken glass injured the driver and two passengers.
Security Minister Dragan Mektic and other officials later said another soldier was wounded along with a female employee of the betting shop.
Sarajevo media identified the attacker as an adherent of the Salafi movement, an ultraconservative Islamic ideology that often espouses violent jihad, or holy war.
Prosecutors' office spokesman Boris Grubesic was quoted as saying that the killing spree was being investigated as "an act of terrorism."
Earlier, Mektic told local media after the Bosnian government convened an emergency session, “If it is confirmed that it is terrorism, and there is a certain possibility that this happens, then we have a situation of total insecurity of citizens and we must act quickly and efficiently.”
One of the poorest countries in Europe, Bosnia is still contending with deep ethnic and religious divisions left over from the disastrous war of the 1990s.
Nearly half of Bosnia’s 3.8 million people are Muslim.
Dozens of Muslims from Bosnia, Kosovo, and elsewhere have sought to join Islamic State and Al-Qaeda in recent years and several people have been jailed after returning to the region.
Тhat has sparked worries that radical Islamists could stoke unrest or plot terror attacks in the still fragile countries of the former Yugoslavia.
Earlier this year, another gunman opened fire on a police post in the eastern Bosnian town of Zvornik, killing an officer and wounding two others before being killed in a shoot-out with police.
Authorities said that shooter shouted the Arabic phrase "Allahu Akbar," or “God is great,” as he entered the post and that he had links to Islamic extremists.