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Video Shows Alleged Terrorist Attack Outside U.S. Embassy in Bosnia

• Gunman shot in the leg, taken to hospital • Witnesses: He told pedestrians to move away, said he was only targeting embassy • BBC: Part of "Islamic fundamentalist Wahhabi sect"

Reuters

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (The Blaze/AP) -- A man opened fire with an automatic weapon Friday in what authorities called a terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia. A policeman and the gunman were wounded, but the embassy said none of its employees was hurt.

Bosnian TV identified the shooter as Mevlid Jasarevic, from Novi Pazar, Serbia. It said he is a Wahabi follower, but did not cite its sources. The Wahabis are an extremely conservative branch of Islam which is rooted in Saudi Arabia and linked to religious militants in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Sarajevo Mayor Alija Behmen said the gunman "got off a tram with a Kalashnikov and started shooting at the American Embassy." Witnesses told Bosnian television that the man urged pedestrians to move away, saying he was targeting only the embassy.

One police officer guarding the building was wounded before police surrounded the gunman. After a 30-minute standoff, the sound of a single shot echoed and AP video showed the shooter slump to the ground.

Police arrested the wounded man - who one of Bosnia's three presidents said is a foreigner - and took him away in an ambulance as pedestrians cowered behind buildings and vehicles. Hospital spokeswoman Biljana Jandric told The Associated Press the gunman had a minor wound to his leg, and would spend the night at the hospital before being released into police custody.

Footage from Bosnia's TV1 shows a bearded man in a long jacket pacing in front of the embassy carrying an automatic weapon, wearing an outfit outfit typical for Wahibi followers. A single shot is heard, then the camera pans back to show the man on the ground.

The first video shows him in front of the embassy:

A second video uploaded to YouTube records people watching from a nearby building and commenting on the events as they unfold. Content warning -- some strong language

This video shows the man again before and after the shot. Content warning -- graphic images

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said several bullets struck the outside wall of the embassy, but that all embassy personnel were safe. She said the wounded police officer had been assigned to protect the embassy. Ambassador Patrick Moon expressed his gratitude for the swift response by the police.

"Our thoughts and prayers at this time are with those who put their lives on the line to protect the embassy," Nuland told reporters.

Bakir Izetbegovic, one of Bosnia's three presidents, issued a statement condemning "the terrorist attack on the embassy of the United States."

"The United States is a proven friend of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Its government and its people supported us in the most difficult moments in our history and nobody has the right to jeopardize our relations," he said.

Zeljko Komsic, chairman of Bosnia's presidency, said the attacker is a foreigner previously known to police. He told AP that authorities have not yet determined whether the attack "was the act of an individual, or something organized."

"But whatever it was, it is not just an attack on the U.S. Embassy or the U.S., it is also an attack on Bosnia and Herzegovina," he said.

A Sarajevo city official, Muhamed Budimlic, told The Associated Press that a policeman guarding the embassy was injured.

This is a breaking news story. Updates will be added as they come in.

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