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What is Known So Far About the Man Who Threw Grenade at US Embassy in Montenegro

© REUTERS / Stevo Vasiljevic / Police guard the entrance to the United States embassy building in Podgorica, Montenegro, February 22, 2018
Police guard the entrance to the United States embassy building in Podgorica, Montenegro, February 22, 2018 - Sputnik International
Montenegrin police have identified the attacker who threw an explosive device at the US Embassy in Podgorica on February 22. The man turned out to be a 43-year-old former military serviceman of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The Montenegrin police confirmed that 43-year-old Dalibor Jaukovic, a former serviceman of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's armed forces had thrown a hand grenade into the building of the US Embassy in Podgorica, after which he committed suicide with a second grenade.

The motive behind the attack is as yet unknown. However, the Facebook page of Jaukovic contains a photograph of the document saying that on June 16, 1999 — shortly after the end of NATO aggression against Yugoslavia — he was awarded a medal for his services in the field of defense and security. The document was signed by then President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic.

Enis Bakovic, an official representative of the police, told a press conference in the Montenegrin capital that the attacker used M75 hand grenades.

"His identity was established on the basis of DNA analysis, and he was recognized by a former relative," he said.

According to Bakovic, the Montenegrin police, together with the FBI, are looking into the potential motives behind the attack, and seeking out whether Jaukovic was acting alone or had accomplices.

Earlier in the day, the Montenegrin government reported that at 12:30 am (GMT+1) an unknown person committed suicide with an explosive device in front of the US Embassy building in Podgorica. Before that, the attacker had thrown another explosive device at the embassy.

Following the incident, the US Embassy suspended visa services, and asked American citizens in the city to avoid the embassy building, as well as large gatherings and demonstrations until further notice, citing security reasons.  

For its part, the Russian Embassy in the city has boosted its security measures announcing, however, that it would continue to work as usual. No recommendations for the Russians in connection with the incident have been issued yet, the press service of the Russian diplomatic mission in Podgorica told Sputnik.

Montenegrin guards of honor stand between NATO, left, and Montenegro flags during ceremony to mark Montenegro's accession to NATO, in Podgorica, Montenegro, Wednesday, June 7, 2017 - Sputnik International
Ask Montenegro: Joining NATO Means Fighting Other People’s Wars For Them
The Yugoslav Wars, which were fought from 1991 to 2001, facilitated the breakup of Yugoslavia. During the Kosovo War that erupted in February 1998 between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Kosovo Albanian insurgents, the US-led NATO bloc launched an all-out bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. The alliance conducted massive air strikes against the Serbs between March 24 and June 10, 1999.

The breakup of Yugoslavia resulted in the emergence of a number of independent states with borders drawn largely along ethnic lines. However, ethnic tensions continue to simmer, making the Balkans a potential hotbed, according to the Council on Foreign Relations' (CFR) Preventive Priorities Survey 2018.

On June 5, 2017, Yugoslavia's former republic of Montenegro joined NATO, although the citizens of the country voiced their opposition to the move. The decision was made by the country's parliament, without putting the issue directly to the people in a referendum.

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