Serbian Schools Receive Bomb Threats Amidst Heightened Security Concerns Following Recent Shootings

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Dozens of schools in Serbia were targeted with bomb threats on Wednesday, causing widespread disruption and further escalating security concerns in the country. The Serbian Ministry of Education reported that a total of 78 elementary schools and 37 high schools in Belgrade received email warnings in the early hours of the morning, claiming that explosive devices had been planted within the premises. As a precautionary measure, classes were postponed, and students were evacuated while the police thoroughly inspected each building. Fortunately, no bombs were discovered in any of the schools, but authorities are awaiting the final report from the police. While similar threats have occurred in the past, both in Serbia and neighboring countries, they have always turned out to be false alarms.

Nevertheless, these incidents have intensified anxieties among the public, particularly following two recent mass shootings. The shootings, which took place on May 3 and May 4, resulted in the tragic deaths of 18 individuals and left 20 others injured. The first shooting occurred at an elementary school in central Belgrade, where a 13-year-old boy gained access to his father’s firearm and opened fire. The following day, a 20-year-old individual used an automatic weapon to randomly shoot at people in two villages south of Belgrade. These incidents deeply shocked the nation and prompted widespread calls for action. In response to the shootings and the subsequent bomb threats, authorities have already deployed police forces within schools and initiated a crackdown on firearms. In addition, two protests against violence were held, with tens of thousands of people participating.

Further demonstrations are planned for Friday. Opposition parties are demanding the resignations of the ministers of interior and the intelligence chief, as well as the revocation of national broadcast licenses from two pro-government networks due to their alleged promotion of violent content and hosting of individuals associated with war crimes and criminal activities. Critics have also accused President Aleksandar Vucic of employing hate speech against his detractors and suppressing democratic freedoms, which they argue contribute to the tensions and divisions within the Balkan nation. President Vucic, however, denies these allegations. He has called for his own rally on May 26 and has hinted at the possibility of holding a snap election by September.

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