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At least 11 dead in Montenegro shooting

#dead #Montenegro #shooting

At least 11 people were killed in a mass shooting in Montenegro’s central town of Cetinje on Friday, the country’s public broadcaster said, in the deadliest violent incident to rock the Adriatic nation in years.

“Eleven people were killed while six were injured, including a member of the police,” Montenegro’s public broadcaster RTCG said, adding that the gunman was included in the toll.

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

The incident happened in Cetinje, about 36 kilometers west of the capital Podgorica, after the gunman became involved in a family dispute, according to RTCG.

The gunman was later killed after shooting at police officers, the broadcaster added, with an unspecified number of children believed to be among those killed.

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.

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 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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