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At least 11 dead in Montenegro shooting

#dead #Montenegro #shooting

A gunman killed at least 11 people, including two children, in a mass shooting in Montenegro’s central city of Cetinje on Friday in one of the deadliest violent incidents to rock the Adriatic nation.

“Eleven people were killed in Cetinje today,” Andrijana Nastic, a government prosecutor who is helping to oversee the incident, told reporters, saying the gunman was among the dead.

“Two children are among the victims,” ​​she added.

A police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also confirmed the number to AFP.

The incident happened in Cetinje, around 36 kilometers west of the capital Podgorica, according to public broadcaster RTCG, after the shooter became involved in a family dispute.

According to Nastic, the gunman was said to have been killed by a local resident, disproving previous reports that the gunman had been shot dead by police.

Six people were also injured in the attack, three of them in critical condition, Ljiljana Radulovic, the director of the Podgorica Central Hospital, told reporters.

After the shooting, Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic called on the country to offer support to the victims’ families, saying the incident was unprecedented in Montenegro’s recent history.

“I invite all citizens of Montenegro to be with the families of the innocent victims,” ​​the prime minister wrote in a post on Telegram.

Hours after the attack, Abazovic declared three days of mourning in the country.

– reeling from shock –

Montenegro is famous for its picturesque beaches framed by nearby mountains, which have long attracted tourists.

Cetinje is the site of the country’s former royal capital and lies in a mountainous valley that has largely been economically stagnant in recent decades.

Local residents were shocked after the shooting.

“I can’t believe this happened in Cetinje and Montenegro. I don’t know what to say, I’m speechless. I don’t know where this can lead us,” Milorad Mitrovic from Cetinje told public broadcaster RTCG.

The incident comes as the country finds itself in its much-anticipated peak tourism season after two years of the coronavirus pandemic.

With an unemployment rate of around 18 percent and an average monthly salary of less than 520 euros, Montenegro relies on tourism and the appeal of around 300 km of azure coastline to boost its income.

Holiday destinations like Budva and Kotor draw large crowds, with the latter being on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Organized crime and corruption remain two major problems plaguing the country and which, under pressure from the EU, the authorities have pledged to tackle.

However, mass shootings were rare in the Adriatic nation.

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