For the second time in two days, a gun attack has rocked Serbia. After the massacre at a Belgrade school, a 21-year-old man shot and killed at least eight people in a village near the Serbian capital. 14 others were injured.
After the 21-year-old – Serbian media gave the name Uros B. – was arrested Friday morning after a large-scale manhunt, the details of the crime only very slowly crystallized out. The first shots are said to have been fired late Thursday evening in the village of Dubona, followed by others in the villages of Malo Orasje and Sepsin. The first victims sat unsuspectingly on a bench, it said. According to the pro-government daily Informer, a dispute with an acquaintance, a young police officer who had just been off duty, preceded the incident. The attacker reportedly went home after the altercation, only to return with an automatic rifle and open fire on police officers and others. Ultimately, Uros B. not only killed the young police officer, but also his younger sister.
“This monster will never see the light of day again,” said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. The head of state announced a large-scale disarmament campaign for the Balkan state. “We will carry out an almost complete disarmament of Serbia,” said Vucic. 1,200 new police officers will be hired over the next six months.
According to government information, more than 760,000 firearms are registered in Serbia, a country of 6.8 million people. Many weapons are still illegally in circulation as a result of the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s. This puts Serbia in third place in terms of the number of gun owners, behind the USA and Yemen.