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Eight children and a security guard are killed in Belgrade by a school student, according to The Guardian.

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

A 14-year-old boy has opened fire in a Belgrade classroom, killing eight children and a school security guard and injuring a further six pupils as well as his teacher, the Serbian interior ministry has said.

Police identified the shooter by his initials, KK, and said he had been a pupil at the school in the centre of the Serbian capital since 2019. He had used his father’s gun for the shooting at about 8.40am on Wednesday and was later arrested in the school playground.

Milan Milosevic, the father of a pupil at the Vladislav Ribnikar primary school, said his daughter was in the class where the gun was fired. “She managed to escape. [The boy] … first shot the teacher and then started shooting randomly,” he told the broadcaster N1.

Milosevic, who said he rushed to the school after hearing of the shooting, added: “I saw the security guard lying under the table. I saw two girls with blood on their shirts. They say [the shooter] was quiet and a good pupil.”

A pupil who was in a sports class downstairs when the gunfire erupted told local media: “I was able to hear the shooting. It was non-stop. I didn’t know what was happening. We were receiving some messages on the phone.”

The pupil, who was not named, described the suspect as a “quiet guy” who “looked nice”. She said he had “good grades, but we didn’t know much about him. He was not so open with everybody. Surely i wasn’t expecting this to happen.”

An interior ministry statement said eight children and a security guard had been killed and six children had been hospitalised, along with the teacher. Milan Nedeljkovic, the local mayor, said doctors were fighting to save the teacher’s life.

Mass shootings in Serbia, and in the wider Balkan region, are extremely rare. None have been reported at schools in recent years. In 2013, a Balkan war veteran killed 13 people in a central Serbian village.

Serbia has very strict gun laws and authorities have issued several amnesties for owners to hand in or register illegal guns, but experts have repeatedly warned about the danger from hundreds of thousands of illegal weapons left in the region following the wars and civil unrest of the 1990s.

Officers in helmets and bulletproof vests cordoned off the area around the school and local media footage from the scene showed the commotion outside as police removed the suspect, whose head was covered as officers led him to a car parked in the street.

“I saw kids running out from the school, screaming. Parents came, they were in panic. Later I heard three shots,” a girl who attends a high school next to the Vladislav Ribnikar school told state television.

Casualties were being treated and an investigation into the motives behind shooting was under way, the police statement said.

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