‘Bosnia US embassy attacker says he acted alone’

Friday`s attack in broad daylight paralysed central Sarajevo and saw shopkeepers scrambling for cover.

Sarajevo: A gunman who opened fire with an assault rifle on the US embassy in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo Friday said he had acted alone, his lawyer said on Sunday.

Lawyer Senad Dupovac said that 23-year-old Mevlid Jasarevic said he had no accomplices but he expressed concern for the defendant`s mental state.

"He is confused and I do not think he is aware of his actions and I believe that he would need psychiatric expertise," said Dupovac, after meeting his client, who was wounded by a police sharpshooter before the arrest.

Bosnia`s state prosecutor Dubravko Campara said he would ask the state court Monday to order a detention term for Jasarevic on suspicion of terrorism.

The prosecutor said that two people had been detained in Bosnia on suspicion of links with Jasarevic following several police raids.

Serbian police arrested and later released 17 people at three locations in the southwest of the country, including in the mainly Muslim Novi Pazar, the hometown of the gunman.

Friday`s attack in broad daylight paralysed central Sarajevo and saw shopkeepers scrambling for cover as the gunman paced up and down firing on the embassy before a police sharpshooter wounded him and he was arrested.

One police officer was wounded and several bullets struck the wall of the embassy compound in the attack.

Bosnian police over the weekend raided the northern village of Gornja Maoca, as well as several other locations, and questioned a number of people suspected of having links with Jasarevic. His wife was also questioned.

Security officials said Jasarevic, who was convicted of robbery in Austria in 2005 and deported to Serbia, had entered Bosnia Friday morning.

He visited a group of followers of the puritanical Wahhabi interpretation of Islam in Gornja Maoca earlier in the year, Bosnian security officials said.

The village was also raided last year when police arrested several men and seized a large cache of weapons.

The villagers there live in accordance with Islamic sharia law. Many young Bosnian Muslims, particularly from rural areas, have in recent years adhered to Wahhabism under the influence of foreign fighters, most of whom left Bosnia after the 1992-95 war.

Bureau Report

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