POST TIME: 29 January, 2017 00:00 00 AM
Gangs’ car bombs rattle Montenegro’s capital

Gangs’ car bombs rattle Montenegro’s capital

Heavily-armed police are guarding the streets of Montenegro’s capital after a spike in gangland violence rattled the Balkan country, which is on the brink of joining NATO, reports AFP.
Drug mafia feuds began in the coastal towns of Bar and Kotor, hotbeds of organised crime, where anti-terrorist police swooped in to tackle the deadly rivalries last summer as tourists came and went on cruise ships.
But the troubles have come to the streets of the capital Podgorica in the past few weeks, with two people killed and two others seriously injured in three explosions.
“Recent events in Podgorica and events that preceded them in other towns have understandably provoked the anxiety of citizens, who expect the authorities to do all they can in a merciless struggle against organised crime,” said Interior Minister Mevludin Nuhodzic.
He admitted that “in some way, order is threatened”.
Twelve people were killed last year as a result of gang feuds in the country of 620,000 people, whose tourism sector is growing under the threat of powerful organised crime.
In one incident in September, a sniper shot a prisoner dead in broad daylight in a yard in Montenegro’s highest-security jail in Podgorica. The man had been jailed for extortion.
The recent spike in attacks has resulted in dismissals and resignations at the top of the police force and an intensified presence on the streets. After nightfall for the past several days, heavily-armed officers have patrolled the squares of the capital, closely monitored customers in bars and cafes and carried out tight security checks on cars.
So far they have seized several guns, drugs and one vehicle, but no arrests over the Podgorica blasts have been announced.
Residents of the capital fear becoming collateral damage of the warring gangs. “This has crossed all limits... the whole society is descending into the underworld. I am afraid of innocent people being killed,” said Milos, 45, an economist who witnessed the latest blast in the centre of Podgorica on January 19.