Feb 22, 2018

Grenade attack on U.S. embassy in Montenegro comes amid tensions over NATO

Police officer stands guard near the US Embassy in Montenegro's capital. Photo: SAVO PRELEVIC/AFP/Getty Images

A Serbian-born assailant in the early hours of Thursday threw a grenade at the U.S. embassy in Montenegro’s capital of Podgorica before blowing himself up with a second device, according to the Montenegrin authorities. The suspect, Dalibor Jaukovic, was a "an ex-soldier decorated by former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic after NATO’s bombing of Serbia and Montenegro in 1999," per the AP.

Why it matters: Montenegro has been on edge since a coup plot set for the day of the parliamentary election on October 16, 2016 was uncovered. The Montenegrin government alleges it was being planned by Montenegrin, Serbian and Russian nationalists, some of whom are now on trial, to install a pro-Russian leadership to halt Montenegro’s bid to join NATO.

Montenegro, one of the states created after the breakup of Yugoslavia, became NATO’s 29th member in June 2017, much to the anger of Moscow, which denies any involvement in the attempted coup, and other Slavic nationalists.

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