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news 19 Apr 17

Sixth False Bomb Report Alarms Montenegro Capital

Six false bomb threats have been reported in the Montenegrin capital, Podgorica, in less than two weeks, leaving police struggling to figure out who is making the calls.

Dusica Tomovic
The largest shopping centre in Podgorica, Delta City, was targeted by a false bomb threat. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Rasho 992

Podgorica’s Hotel Ramada was evacuated on Tuesday evening after an anonymous caller phoned in a bomb threat - but a police search turned up nothing suspicious, Montenegrin media reported.

The scare was a false alarm but the police still evacuated several dozen people. In two hours, all guests were back at the hotel.

The false alarm was the sixth such case in Podgorica in less than ten days, involving unknown perpetrators reporting a bomb threat to police.

In chaotic scenes, police last week evacuated the country’s largest shopping centre, Delta City, and a night club, Beagle.

False bomb threats were reported in the Hotel Hemera, the business centre Capital Plaza and at the Hilton hotel, all three places mostly visited by foreigners coming to Podgorica and local businessmen.

Investigations into all five reports turned up nothing, according to police, who deployed special units to evacuate the sites and check for the possible explosive devices.

“Police officers found that this false report came from one country in the region. Police, via Interpol channels of communication and international police cooperation, have already undertaken activities to identify the person who made the call," police said after the sixth false alarm on Tuesday.

In all previous five cases, the police said the false reports came from "neighbouring countries" but did not go into details.

Citing police sources, some local media reported that the phone calls reporting bomb threats came from Serbia and Bosnia but those claims were not officially confirmed.

On social media, comments ranged from panic over ISIS threats to claims that the alarms were “secret NATO exercises"; the country is about to join the military alliance this spring.   

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