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The Latest: US: Montenegro attack not part of ongoing threat

February 22, 2018

A police officer guards the U.S. embassy in Montenegro's capital Podgorica, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. Police in Montenegro said Thursday they are "working intensely" to identify an assailant who threw an explosive device into the U.S. embassy compound in the capital, Podgorica, before killing himself. (AP Photo/Risto Bozovic)

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — The Latest on the attack on the U.S. embassy in Montenegro (all times local):

9:50 p.m.

The U.S. State Department says it doesn’t believe that an attack on the American embassy in Montenegro “is part of an ongoing threat.”

A man threw a bomb into the embassy compound and then killed himself around midnight Wednesday. Police say the man had no criminal record and that the attack wasn’t an act of terrorism.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert says that consular operations at the embassy closed Thursday for the day “out of an abundance of caution” but that the embassy remains open for emergency services.

She said the embassy will only perform emergency consular services for the remainder of the week. Previously scheduled visa appointments will be rescheduled.

Nauert thanked Montenegrin officials for their quick response and professionalism.

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4:20 p.m.

Police in Montenegro say the man who threw a bomb into the U.S. embassy compound and then killed himself had no criminal record and that the attack was not an act of terrorism.

Police formally identified the suspect by his initials, D.J., in line with an earlier police source identifying him as ex-soldier Dalibor Jaukovic. Police say Jaukovic was a Montenegrin citizen born in neighboring Serbia.

They said Montenegrin police and the FBI are checking Jaukovic’s accounts on social networks.

He posted on Facebook a photo of an army decoration apparently signed by former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic and openly opposed Montenegro’s membership in NATO last year.

Police say they are still investigating Jaukovic’s motives and whether he had acted alone. They say security has been beefed up around foreign embassies in Montenegro.

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2:15 p.m.

A family friend has described the man who allegedly hurled a bomb into the U.S. embassy compound in Montenegro’s capital Podgorica and then killed himself as ‘a good patriot.’

A police official said on condition of anonymity that ex-soldier Dalibor Jaukovic threw a bomb into the embassy yard and then killed himself with another one around midnight (2300GMT) on Wednesday.

A family friend, Milutin Dragicevic, said Thursday that Jaukovic was “a good patriot” during the 1999 NATO air war against Yugoslavia, then comprised of Serbia and Montenegro. He added, “I don’t know what might have driven him to do this.”

A U.S. official, demanding anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the situation with reporters, said the attacker acted alone.

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1:10 p.m.

The man who hurled a bomb into the U.S. embassy compound in the capital Podgorica and then killed himself was an ex-soldier decorated by former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic after NATO’s bombing of Serbia and Montenegro in 1999.

A police official confirmed the man was 43-year-old Dalibor Jaukovic, saying he was identified by a close relative. The official asked for anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

Jaukovic was born in the central Serbian town of Kraljevo but lived in Podgorica. Photos posted on his Facebook profile include a plaque honoring his contribution in the fight against NATO during the bombing. The plaque appears to be personally signed by Milosevic.

Many in Montenegro remain opposed to the country’s membership in NATO because of the air war the alliance waged to stop the war in Kosovo when Montenegro was still part of Yugoslavia.

—By Predrag Milic

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11:20 a.m.

The U.S. embassy in Montenegro’s capital Podgorica has confirmed that no one was injured when an assailant threw an explosive device into the compound.

The embassy said Thursday on its Facebook and Twitter accounts that “all Mission personnel are safe and accounted for following the incident early this morning.”

Police say the man hurled an apparent bomb into the embassy yard before killing himself with another one around midnight (2300GMT) Wednesday. Police say they are working to identify the man.

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10:25 a.m.

Police in Montenegro say they are “working intensely” to identify an assailant who threw an explosive device into the U.S. embassy compound in the capital, Podgorica, before killing himself.

Police said in a statement that the man threw a bomb into the embassy yard and then committed suicide by activating another one around midnight Wednesday.

The blast created a crater but caused no other material damage to the embassy property, the statement said.

Police sealed off the area around the embassy after the explosion.

Officers came to the scene after receiving reports about an explosion and found a lifeless male body in the area of the Moraca river that runs through Podgorica, the statement said.

The U.S. State Department has said embassy officials are working with police to identify the assailant and internally to confirm all staff are safe.

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