A lone terrorist attempted to bomb the American embassy in Montenegro early this morning.
According to several reports, a man tried to throw a grenade into the embassy compound, but managed only to kill himself in the process. Reports say he died from a second explosive device he had with him.
Montenegro, located in southeastern Europe, is not known as a terror hotbed. However, 20% of the population is Muslim, concentrated in the country’s southern region.
Authorities later claimed the attack was not terror-related.
A suicide attacker blew himself up after throwing an explosive device into the U.S. embassy compound in Podgorica, the Montenegrin government has said.
It said in a tweet the device was thrown by an unknown person and was probably a hand grenade. So far the authorities have no idea as to the motive of the attack.
Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein told CNN that the grenade appeared to have gone off as it was thrown into the air, and the man was found dead 100 feet from the embassy’s wall. It is thought that he was killed by a separate explosive device.
A U.S. State Department spokesperson confirmed ‘a small explosion near the Embassy compound’ saying officials were ‘working closely with police to identify the assailant(s)’.
The embassy on its Twitter account said that it had cancelled all visa services for Thursday, adding that access for U.S. citizens ‘will be available today on an emergency basis’.
In a security alert embassy staff warned people to stay away from the mission on Thursday,
A guard at the sports center who asked not to be named said he ‘heard two explosions, one after another’.
‘Police came very quickly and the body of a man was taken away,’ he told AFP.
Officials said there were no other injuries or damage to the embassy, and security officers were continuing a full sweep of the area.
Montenegro, a small Adriatic state of some 660,000 people, joined NATO last May. The decision to become a member provoked violent protests by the pro-Russian opposition in 2015.