Bosnian police secure an area in Bradina, Bosnia, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. Police in Bosnia say they have launched a manhunt for a suspect in the killings of two people in the past week which has triggered panic in the country. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)

Bosnia: Major manhunt underway for suspect in 2 slayings

They also called for public vigilance and appealed to residents to report any sightings of the suspect, saying they think 42-year-old Edin Gacic is armed and dangerous.

Gacic is suspected of killing a grocery store owner near Konjic, southwest of Sarajevo, a week ago and shooting to death a policeman on Saturday in Suhodol, a village south of the capital city. Investigators haven't established a motive.

Gacic served two prison sentences for murder but was released in 2017 after serving two-thirds of the 20-year term. His victims were his mother and a man who served with a battalion of Muslim volunteers during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia.

Bosnian media have reported that Gacic also served in the unit, which fought alongside Bosnian army soldiers under the country's wartime Muslim-led government.

"We are checking any information we get. All police agencies have been engaged," said Aljosa Campara, the interior minister in the government of the Muslim-Croat half of Bosnia. "We are doing all we can to protect the citizens."

Police officials later said a total of 1,200 officers have been deployed for the manhunt and they would ask the army to help, if necessary. Heavy snow made the search in a mountainous region more difficult.

Bosnians have expressed fears about a gunman on the loose.

In Suhodol, a villager who identified himself only by his first name, Mujo, said he is afraid.

"Of course I am scared," said the man, suggesting villagers might flee the area. "I won't just sit here and wait for him to kill me."