Serbian officer shot with crossbow outside Israeli embassy

A Serbian police officer has been injured in a crossbow attack outside the Israeli embassy in the capital, Belgrade.

Interior Minister Ivica Dacic told reporters that the officer had subsequently shot and killed the assailant.

The attacker – whose has not yet been identified by authorities – had hit the policeman in the neck, Mr Dacic said.

The officer has been taken to hospital to undergo surgery to treat his wound, and is reportedly in a life-threatening condition.

Serbian broadcaster B92 quoted Mr Dacic as saying that the attacker had approached a small building at the front of the Israeli embassy around 11:00 (09:00 GMT), purportedly asking about a museum.

The man had then opened the door to the small building, removed a crossbow and shot the officer, Mr Dacic was reported as saying. The officer then returned fire and the assailant died around half an hour later.

Mr Dacic said the case had been taken over by special prosecutors and that several others had been arrested as a precautionary measure.

While the interior minister suggested the attack may have been part of a larger threat, Serbian Prime Minister Milos Vucevic called it “a crime of an individual”.

According to comments reproduced by the Beta news agency, he described the incident as “an act of insanity, which cannot be attributed to any religion and any nation”.

The Israeli foreign ministry said the embassy had been closed at the time of the incident and that no employees had been injured.

The incident in Belgrade is not the first time someone has seemingly attempted to stage an attack on an Israeli embassy since the Gaza war that Israel began after Hamas’s 7 October attack against southern Israel.

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