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Faced with a population traumatized by two massacres committed forty-eight hours apart, Aleksandar Vucic promised to tackle the circulation of arms which abound without real control since the wars in the former Yugoslavia.

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Traces of blood in the courtyard of a school in Dubona, Serbia, on May 5, 2023, after a killing perpetrated by a man driving his car on Thursday evening May 4.

Serbia was to begin observing, Friday, May 5, three days of mourning in tribute to the nine people killed by firearms in a Belgrade school on Wednesday. Instead, she woke up with the announcement of a new massacre that occurred overnight from Thursday to Friday in a village located fifty kilometers south of the capital, presenting many similarities to the previous one and raising fears of a terrible chain effect between the two events.

According to Serbian media, a 21-year-old young man, named Uros Blazic, an admirer of famous local mobsters, allegedly started shooting with an automatic weapon around 11 p.m. Thursday evening from his car in the municipality of Dubona, before move to nearby villages and shoot again. Witnesses reported that the rampage started in the local schoolyard following an altercation with the suspect.

On Friday morning, the toll was eight dead, including an off-duty policeman and a 15-year-old, and fourteen injured. Around 8:30 a.m., after a gigantic manhunt, the police announced that they had apprehended the shooter in the vicinity of Kragujevac, sixty kilometers further south, where he would have gone, driven by a taxi driver taken hostage with pomegranates.

Neo-Nazi reference

Police released a photo of the handcuffed young man wearing a blue T-shirt that read “Generation 88” in English. According to the authorities, this is a coded reference to “Heil Hitler” very used in neo-Nazi circles.

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The Minister of the Interior, Bratislav Gasic, thus spoke « d’un acte terroriste », without detailing the motivations of the shooter. Taking the floor for the second time in forty-eight hours for a solemn declaration, Aleksandar Vucic explained that the young man would have “repeated insults” during his arrest. The Serbian President lamented “an attack on the whole country” which we do not reach “to understand the reasons”. To reassure the population, he announced the recruitment of 1,200 police officers to “in post one in each of the 330 schools” from Belgrade.

On Wednesday, a young teenager aged just 13 entered his school to methodically kill eight of his classmates and the school’s caretaker, after apparently being bullied. This school killing was unprecedented in Serbia and aroused great emotion. Since then, the authorities have been on high alert in fear of a ripple effect in other establishments.

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