"Intelligence agency warned about attack on police station"

A policeman has been killed and two others wounded in an attack on a police station in Zvornik, in the Serb entity (RS) of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug
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The attacker, Nerdin Ibric (24), from the village of Sapno near Zvornik, entered the station a little after 19:00 CET on Monday armed with two rifles and a pistol, and "pockets full of ammunition."

According to the Fena news agency, he shouted, "Allahu Akbar!"

The assailant first shot and killed officer Dragan Djuric at the door and managed to injure Stevo Milovanovic and Zeljko Gajic before he was himself shot and killed as other policemen opened fire.

RS Interior Minister Dragan Lukac has confirmed the identity of the attacker, saying that he drove up to the station, choosing to enter the building during shift change, "knowing there would be the greatest number of policemen at that point."

Lukac has qualified the incident as a terrorist attack.

Lukac, who this evening arrived in Zvornik, also said that the attack "could be the start of much worse happenings in Bosnia-Herzegovina."

The Serb Republic (RS) president Milorad Dodik has been quoted as saying that the incident showed that the Serb entity "cannot count on intelligence sources from Bosnia-Herzegovina."

The website of the Banja Luka-based daily Nezavisne reported earlier that "a member of the (radical Muslim) Wahabi movement drove himself to the Public Safety Station in Zvornik, and when he was told he cannot park there, started to shoot."

According to the same website, a large number of citizens gathered in front of the General Hospital in Zvornik inquiring about the condition of the wounded policemen.

Zvornik is located in eastern Bosnia, on the Drina River that forms the border with Serbia.

The attack has caused strong reactions from authorities both of the Serb entity and of Bosnia-Herzegovina. A meeting of the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina Mladen Ivanic, Serb ministers in the Council and Serb MPs in the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina was called late on Monday.

Bosnian Security Minister Dragan Mektic said that "such things cannot be tolerated," and announced "a strong and repressive action," that would be launched in cooperation with the Bosnian Prosecution.

Mektic also said late on Monday that the intelligence agency OSA "three days ago received a report that a terrorist act was being preparing in Bosnia."

The minister told the Dnevni Avaz daily's website that the incident in Zvornik "can be characterized as terrorism, based on information from the field received so far."

High Representative Valentin Inzko said that OSA "last Friday warned police agencies that a police station would come under attack."

Inzko condemned the incident, adding that "citizens in Bosnia-Herzegovina have reason to be worried," but that he did not believe the situation would be destabilized.

He also advised against treating the attack as an act of terrorism until the Prosecution has determined this was the case.

Inzko described the incident as "a shocking thing and a last warning after the attack in Bugojno and on the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo," criticizing at the same time police agencies in Bosnia-Herzegovina for their "lack of cooperation."

Director of the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) Goran Zubac said previously that the incident was "a pronounced terrorist attack" that "proved there is terrorism in Bosnia-Herzegovina," and announced "suppression of terrorism in cooperation with the Prosecution and all agencies."

In Belgrade, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that Serbia will, based on the Dayton Agreement, help the RS financially and with intelligence after the attack.

Vucic told the state broadcaster RTS that he spoke twice during the evening with Milorad Dodik, and that both Dodik and the RS interior minister would travel to Belgrade in two days' time for a meeting with him and Serbia's interior minister.

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