According to multiple reports out of the region, the United States Embassy in Montenegro was attacked by a lone bomber late Wednesday night, who died in the effort. No other injuries have been reported.
At approximately midnight local time, an unidentified man was seen throwing an explosive device over the wall of the U.S. embassy, located in Montenegro’s capital city, Podgorica. Conflicting reports suggest that the man was either killed when that explosive detonated, or potentially while detonating a second explosive device.
At 00:30, in front of the @USEmbassyMNE building in #Podgorica, #Montenegro an unknown person committed suicide with an explosive device. Immediately before, that person threw an explosive device from the intersection near the Sport Center into the US Embassy compound.” The nation of Montenegro announced via Twitter.
“Most probably, the device was a hand grenade. Police investigation and identification is under way directed by the prosecutor. Police Administration of Montenegro.” It went on.
Immediately following the incident, embassy security secured the area and swept the facility for signs of any other explosives. None were found. The embassy structure itself was also not damaged in the attack, though local employees have been instructed to stay home until further notice as a security precaution.
“The U.S. embassy in Podgorica advises U.S. citizens there is an active security situation at the U.S. embassy in Podgorica,” the U.S. State Department said on its website and on Twitter. “Avoid the embassy until further notice.”
The bomber has not been identified by law enforcement, and no statement has been made regarding his possible motive for the ill-fated attack.
Heather Nauert, a spokesman for the American State Department also took to Twitter to address the incident, saying that the embassy “confirms there was a small explosion near the U.S. Embassy compound at approximately midnight local time on February 22. The Embassy is currently conducting an internal review to confirm the safety of all staff.”
“At this time, Embassy officials are working closely with police to identify the assailant(s). We refer press to local law enforcement authorities for more details on this evolving investigation.” She said.
Montenegro, the newest member of the NATO alliance, is the smallest of the former Yugoslav republics. Located between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania, the small nation boast a population of only about 640,000 people. The capital city occupies more than ten percent of the nation’s entire territory and is home to nearly thirty percent of Montenegro’s entire population.
Image courtesy of the Associated Press