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news 06 Sep 16

Blast Kills Two in Montenegrin Resort Kotor

Montenegro’s authorities were urged to stop the continuing violence in the resort of Kotor after a bomb blast killed two men in the latest suspected showdown between rival drug clans.

Dusica Tomovic
BIRN
Podgorica
Kotor: Photo: Wikipedia/Ggia.

Kotor’s mayor, Aleksandar Stjepcevic, urged the authorities to stop the violence in the Adriatic resort “as soon as possible” after a bomb blast killed two alleged members of drug gangs on Monday.

Goran Biskupovic, 28, an alleged member of the Skaljari gang, was killed when the bomb planted near his home in Muo neighborhood exploded. The blast also killed Milos Bosnjak, 25.

“I hope that the authorities will do everything in their power to make sure this kind of event in Kotor never happens again, to end this issue once for all,” Stjepcevic told the local CdM portal.

Police blocked all the streets in the neighbourhood that was hit on Monday and said the special prosecution for organised crime had launched an investigation. 

A small resort with a medieval old town in the Boka Bay, which is on UNESCO's of world heritage list, Kotor made headlines in June after violence between criminal gangs caused the police to deploy anti-terrorist officers. 

In the last five months, Kotor has seen six armed clashes between rival drug clans and in April, Srdjan Vlahovic, who was reportedly linked to one of the narcotics kingpins, was murdered.

Five people have been killed since early 2015 in what the authorities believe were clashes between rival gangs - named the Skaljari and Kavac clans after Kotor neighbourhoods.

The Interior Ministry warned in June that the situation in Kotor was “alarming” and the authorities feared that the violence could jeopardise the tourist season in the town, which is visited each year by thousands of foreign tourists on luxury cruise ships. 

Kotor was also in the spotlight a decade ago after it was found that the Balkan drug baron Darko Saric had begun to invest huge sums of money there, mostly in the tourism sector.

One of the biggest discotheques on the Adriatic Sea, Maximus, which attracts thousands of guests every summer, was reportedly managed by one of Saric's companies, founded in Kotor in the mid-2000s.

In a first-instance verdict in July 2015, Belgrade’s Special Court for Organised Crime jailed Saric for 20 years for smuggling cocaine from Latin America.

The court also convicted around 30 other defendants, 14 of whom are still on the run, for smuggling more than five tons of cocaine from South America in 2008 and 2009, giving them jail sentences of five months to 20 years.

The first shootouts erupted in Kotor in 2008, and two years later, one of Saric's closest associates, Zoran Fric Dudic, was shot dead on the main town square in daylight.

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