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Bosnia’s Islamic leader calls for ‘force’ against extremists

uslims make up about 40 percent of Bosnia’s 3.8 million people

Published: Updated:

Bosnia’s Islamic spiritual leader said Friday that authorities should stop extremists “by force” after two of members of the country’s military were gunned down in a suspected “terrorist act.”

The military men were killed on Wednesday night when a man attacked them with automatic weapons near a barracks in Sarajevo before blowing himself up.

“I urge the authorities to stop by force (the actions of) those who spread hatred and call for terror,” said Grand Mufti Husein Kavazovic in a sermon delivered before hundreds of faithful in the main mosque in Sarajevo.

“The villains do not represent anyone of faith and above all they do not belong to our community of goodness and peace. Having compassion for them is a sin,” he said.

“It is now necessary that we all rise up and do not allow evil to conquer us.”

Authorities have said that the perpetrator of Wednesday night’s killings had links to extremist circles and that the attack was almost certainly a “terrorist act.”

Muslims make up about 40 percent of Bosnia’s 3.8 million people while the rest of the Balkan country is mostly Serb Orthodox or Catholic.

The vast majority of Bosnian Muslims are moderates but a tiny minority openly support radical Wahhabism.

After the deadly Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) attacks in Paris a week ago, Kavazovic urged Europe’s Muslims to keep the peace, saying the killings were a “sin towards God.”