Machete-wielding man attacks police officers in Serbia

© Ivan Milutinovic / Reuters
A man was arrested in southwestern Serbia after he tried to assault police officers with a machete while shouting Allahu Akbar, Serbian media report, referring to the man as self-proclaimed Salafist.

A man, identified only as B.N., tried to attack police officers who had come to summon him for questioning. He first tried to barricade himself inside the house, but then ran out wielding a machete and shouting “Allahu Akbar.” However, when one of the officers fired a warning shot into the air, the man ran away, only to rush at the officers again.

During his second attempt, the man was shot in the leg, after which he was taken to hospital and eventually arrested. The attack occurred in the Serbian town of Raska located not far from Serbia’s border with Kosovo, according to some media, while other news outlets say it took place in the neighboring Roma settlement of Kucevski Lug.

The assailant is well known to police for committing numerous crimes ranging from disturbing the peace, to insulting and attacking police officers, a local radio broadcaster reported, citing police.

The man has been saying that he was a Wahhabi for ten years, police told the local radio station, stressing that there is no official data confirming that he has links to the Wahhabis, or any radical Islamist groups.

Friday’s attack in Serbia comes after a series of assaults on police officers in various countries over recent months. It also resembles a similar incident in Belgium that took place on August 6, when two female police officers were injured in the city of Charleroi in a machete attack later claimed by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

A machete-wielding man was also arrested in the Belgian city of Liege the next day. In mid-August, two men armed with axes and guns injured two police officers in Moscow, and a French police officer was stabbed in the city of Toulouse on August 30.