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Town in Montenegro in turmoil after mass shooting

#Town #Montenegro #turmoil #mass #shooting

Residents of Cetinje, Montenegro, were filled with disbelief on Saturday as they tried to make sense of an unexpected mass shooting that has rocked the streets of their quiet town in a gruesome killing spree.

In Friday’s shooting, a man murdered 10 residents in broad daylight before a bystander killed him, prosecutors said.

The shooting erupted after an alleged argument with the gunman turned violent.

The gunman then went door-to-door while massacring a mother and two young children at a home he owned, according to local residents.

Six people were also injured, including three who were in critical condition late Friday.

“He broke into six houses in total,” a Cetinje resident told AFP news agency, anonymously.

Authorities have yet to release a motive for the crime of the 34-year-old attacker, who his neighbors described as a “peaceful” family man who worked in a nearby national park and was a member of a local hunting club.

“He was a peaceful and discreet man,” said the shooter’s 55-year-old neighbor, who requested anonymity. “He was the father of four children. Nobody expected that from him.”

“I didn’t know him very well but he was never a problem… I’m shocked he managed to do that,” the neighbor added.

After the massacre, Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic announced a three-day official mourning, 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,” ​​he wrote in a Telegram post late Friday.

– ‘sadness’ –

Mladen Zadrima, the editor-in-chief of Cetinje’s local radio station, said residents were struggling to come to terms with the scale of the tragedy in the close-knit community of just 14,000 people.

“The day after didn’t bring any relief. On the contrary, disbelief was replaced by sadness,” said Zadrima.

Famed as the home of the former royal capital, Cetinje produced a number of renowned painters, but fell into decades of economic malaise following the closure of an equipment factory that was once the lifeblood of the community.

The quaint, mountain-surrounded town briefly gained notoriety for also being home to members of the infamous jewel-stealing gang known as the Pink Panther, whose members hail mostly from the celebrated former Yugoslav republics.

The incident comes as Montenegro finds itself in the middle of 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 under 520 euros ($533), Montenegro is banking on tourism and the allure of some 300 km (180 miles) of azure coastline combined with its stunning mountains to boost its revenues.

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

However, mass shootings were rare in the Adriatic nation.

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#Town #Montenegro #turmoil #mass #shooting

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