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Serbia: Suspected gunman who killed eight and injured 14 arrested after second mass shooting in 48 hours | World News

A gunman suspected of killing eight people and injuring 14 others in a drive-by style shooting in Serbia has been arrested.

The attacker initially killed five people and injured six in a village near Smederevo some 40 miles (60km) south of the capital Belgrade on Thursday night.

He then proceeded south to the village of Dubona where he shot and killed three more and injured eight.

The suspect reportedly forced a taxi driver to drive him to another village 60 miles further south of Dubona where Serbian police arrested him after an all-night manhunt dubbed Operation Whirlwind, involving more than 600 police officers and numerous specialist divisions.

Pic: Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs

The 21-year-old suspect is being identified only as U.B.

Police searched the suspect’s cottage and another building where they found multiple firearms, a host of different calibre bullets and cartridges, a hunting knife, hand grenades, and other weapons.

Serbia Shooting - Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs
Pic: Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs

Further work by the police and prosecutor’s office continues.

The shooting comes less than 48 hours after a 13-year-old boy shot dead nine people at a school in Belgrade before turning himself in.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic subsequently proposed an array of tough measures to improve gun control and bolster security in schools in the Balkan country after the two deadly mass shootings this week.

‘A terrorist act’

Mr Vucic said the gunman in the latest attack targeted people at random, saying he shot “wherever they were” and called it an attack on the whole country.

Serbian interior minister Bratislav Gasic described the latest shooting as a “terrorist act”, Serbian news portal Telegraf reported, without providing further detail.

According to local media, after a late-night argument in a schoolyard near Mladenovac, the suspect returned with an assault rifle, opened fire and continued to shoot at people at random from a moving car.

No other details were immediately available, and police had not issued any statements.

A Reuters witness saw heavily armed police establishing a checkpoint and searching incoming traffic, near the village of Dubona, not far from Mladenovac.

Police operate a checkpoint in Dubona
Police operate a checkpoint in Dubona

A helicopter, drones and multiple police patrols also searched for the suspect among the hills and forests around Dubona.

Eight children and a security guard were killed in Wednesday’s shooting at Vladislav Ribnikar primary school in Belgrade.

Police said the 13-year-old boy had used two handguns he had taken from his father and had planned the attack for a month. They added that the boy drew sketches of classrooms and made lists of the children he planned to kill.

The shooting also left seven people needing hospital treatment – six children and a teacher. One girl who was shot in the head remains in a life-threatening condition, and a boy is in serious condition with spinal injuries, doctors said on Thursday morning.

The country’s first mass school shooting prompted the government to announce tougher rules on gun ownership.

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Eyewitness on Serbia school killer

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Two children remain in critical condition after school shooting

Serbia’s president announced a moratorium on new gun licences except those for hunting, and a review of existing permits, with more surveillance of shooting ranges and of how people store their weapons.

He added that the government would hire 1,200 new police officers to improve security in the Balkan country’s schools.

Police urged citizens to lock up their guns and keep them safe, away from children.

People mourn the victims near Vladislav Ribnikar school in Belgrade, Serbia
People mourn the victims near Vladislav Ribnikar school in Belgrade, Serbia

On Thursday, thousands of people gathered in central Belgrade to lay flowers and light candles to commemorate those killed in the shooting on Wednesday morning.

Gun culture is widespread in Serbia and elsewhere in the Balkans. The region is among the top in Europe in the number of guns per capita.

This story originally appeared on Skynews

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