13-year-old shoots teacher at elementary school in Bosnia

Police officers can be seen securing the area after a crime. — Reuters/File

Officials said Wednesday that a 13-year-old former student opened fire on an English teacher at an elementary school in the northeastern Bosnian city of Lukavac.

The interior ministry of Tuzla canton said: “The child, who is not yet 14, is under police supervision in the premises of the Lukavac Police Department, while firearms and other discarded items are secured until the investigation begins.”

According to the officials, the alleged shooter is a former student who had recently moved to another school.

“The child was transferred to another school from the start of the second semester as a result of a disciplinary measure,” Ahmed Omerovic, education minister for Tuzla, told reporters, adding that “today was the end of classes in all schools in the territory of Tuzla canton”.

The latest shooting in Bosnia comes after a month when Serbia was shaken by consecutive mass shootings including the one in which a 14-year-old boy shot at least 10 people with his father’s gun at an elementary school in the capital.

Ismet Osmanovic, the father of the wounded, said: “The wounded victim is an English teacher and assistant principal at the school.”

The hospital maintained that the victim sustained injuries to the neck by the gunshot.

“The patient was intubated and he is being operated on,” the University Clinic Centre of Tuzla said in a statement, reported by local broadcasters.

“The operation is still ongoing. Doctors told me he was stable,” Osmanovic said.

The shootings in Serbia had a wide impact on the region with makeshift shrines and memorial services held in cities across the former Yugoslavia, including Bosnia.

While there was a war in Bosnia, a large number of weapons were smuggled in as the country was under an arms embargo.

As the war ended in 1995, officials called for Bosnians to return their weapons during a years-long amnesty period, as security forces raided homes believed to harbour weapons. But it could not fully materialise as a large number of weapons are scattered throughout the country.

According to the Small Arms Survey research group, approximately 31 out of every 100 citizens own a gun in the Balkan nation.

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