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Belgrade Receives Bomb Threats in over 100 Schools

Dozens of Schools, a public building in downtown Belgrade, and the airport in the southern city of Niš were evacuated following bomb threats on Monday morning.

On Monday morning (16 May), over 100 schools in the Serbian capital received notifications regarding alleged bombs on their premises.

According to the internal affairs ministry, 97 elementary schools and several high schools received bomb threats that have now been checked and proven false. Classes have since resumed in the schools.

The education ministry confirmed that dozens of schools in Belgrade were evacuated across the Serbian capital. A press release added that the police searched 97 schools and found no explosive devices. The ministry added that the false bomb threats were sent as early as 6:15 am.

The Beogradjanka skyscraper in downtown Belgrade was also evacuated while police and firefighters searched it. The 23-floor high building is home to shops and offices. Security guards told N1 television that the bomb threat was sent to a private school in the building, forcing an evacuation. The Belgrade waterworks also received bomb threats.

Even journalists from the Beta news agency temporarily left the building after a school one floor below received a threat.

According to unconfirmed media reports, there were also threats that explosive devices were planted on bridges and in shopping malls in Belgrade.

False threats of bombs in public buildings, shopping malls and public spaces have become increasingly frequent in Serbia in the past weeks. The airport in the southern city Niš received a threat on Monday (16 May), while two days prior, both the New Belgrade Railway Station and the Belgrade Zoo were threatened.

In the last two months, flights of the Serbian air carrier Air Serbia between Belgrade and Moscow were frequently a target of such threats.

Military analyst Aleksandar Radić told Beta that the threats against Air Serbia probably did come from abroad, but that the newest threats are most likely of domestic origin.