Police in southern town issued with automatic rifles
Police officers on duty in the town of Nis in southern Serbia, who until recently carried only pistols, are now armed with automatic rifles, local media report.Source: juzne vesti
Citizens who saw officers with the Zastava-manufactured M70AB2 rifles - "modeled after the Kalashnikov" - are worried and are contacting the local media outlet Juzne Vesti, inquiring about the change.
One resident of Nis was quoted as saying, "What else can I think except that we citizens are in danger so they took rifles? It's not pleasant to see so many rifles in the street, it's as if some sort of state of emergency was on."
But police chief in the town, Srdjan Grekulovic, said there was "no reason to be upset," and that security was raised to a higher level "because of the events in Kumanovo (Macedonia) and possible terrorist threats" - adding, however, that there was "no specific danger."
Grekulovic added that these "increased measures" were introduced on the state level and that the police in Nis respected them, while rifles have recently been issued to officers - "but this will soon be canceled."
Sasa Djordjevic from the Belgrade Center for Security Policy said that uniformed police can carry rifles only when there is risk either to them or to citizens, "that is, when security is in some way compromised."