Army veteran lobs grenade at US embassy in Montenegro

PODGORICA: A Yugoslav army veteran who manned anti-aircraft defences during the Nato bombing in 1999 tossed a hand grenade into the US embassy compound in Podgorica, capital of Montenegro, around midnight and then blew himself up, police said on Thursday. The embassy on its Facebook page said all its personnel were safe after the incident and there were no reports either of material damage.
The Montenegrin man, aged about 41 and born in Serbia, was identified by police only by the initials DJ, though media named him as Dalibor Jaukovic, a decorated Yugoslav army veteran.
“He was a real patriot during the Nato bombing. He served with the Yugoslav anti-aircraft defences,” Milutin Dragicevic, who described himself as a distant relative said.
In 1999 Nato planes bombed targets in Montenegro and Serbia which together formed rump-Yugoslavia at the time, to halt the killing and expulsion of ethnic Albanians in Serbia’s then southern province of Kosovo.
Montenegro, the smallest of all former Yugoslav republics, became the 29th country to join Nato last May.
At just before midnight, the man lobbed a hand grenade over the embassy compound fence and then blew himself up, assistant police chief, Enis Bakovic, told reporters.
Bakovic said an investigation was under way to determine whether he had acted alone or with others. “We are searching social media together with the FBI,” he said. “There are no indications this was an act of terrorism,” prosecutor Lepa Medenica said.
Policemen with submachine guns and police vehicles patrolled streets near the embassy building on Thursday morning following the incident.
A neighbour who said her name was Branka said that Jaukovic “was an ordinary, normal man.”
“He was always polite to me,” she said.
Though the embassy said all staff were safe, it closed for issuing visas on Thursday and told US citizens to stay away until further notice.
“The US embassy in Podgorica advises US citizens there is an active security situation at the US embassy in Podgorica,” it said on its website. — Reuters