Blast at Montenegro court kills one, injures 5: police

A man who set off an explosive device at a courthouse in Montenegro's capital Podgorica was killed in the blast on Friday and five others were injured, police said.

The incident happened at Montenegro's Basic Court -- a lower judiciary body that handles municipal cases in the capital.

"He activated the high-powered explosive device upon entering the court building, and died instantly," said Srdjan Korac, a senior police officer in the city.

"There are also five injured who have been admitted to the hospital centre. It shouldn't be serious injuries," he added.

Police cordoned off the area moments after the explosion and there was no visible damage to the outside of the building, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

An investigation into possible motives behind the blast was ongoing, according to police.

Following the explosion, court officials called for greater security at the country's courthouses, saying the issue had long been raised with authorities.

"We've been pointing this out for years," said Zeljka Jovicevic, the president of the Basic Court in Podgorica.

Zdravko Begovic, president of the Bar Association of Montenegro, supported the call, saying security needed to be beefed up.

"This should be seriously taken into account," he added.

Violent incidents are relatively rare in the tiny Adriatic nation famed for its picturesque beaches, framed by nearby mountains that have long been a draw for tourists.

Last August, the country was rocked by the killing of 10 people after a gunman went on a rampage in the central city of Cetinje.

With an unemployment rate of some 18 percent and an average monthly salary of less than 750 euros ($800), Montenegro counts on tourism to boost its revenues.

Organised crime and corruption have remained two major issues plaguing the country which authorities have pledged to tackle under pressure from the European Union.

Mass shootings and bombings, however, have been rare.