BELGRADE, Serbia: Belgrade was paralyzed this week by a series of bomb threats, including against schools, bridges, restaurants and a football match, and bringing city traffic to a standstill.
Officials reported that no explosive devices were found after a number of searches, adding that it was not clear who was behind the purported emailed threats, police said in a statement.
Due to the threats, some 100 elementary schools were evacuated, as well as several restaurants, shopping malls, bridges, a zoo, the airport, a railway station and the water supply company.
"Even though the threats seem to be false, we should not take them lightly," said Serbian government minister Branko Ruzic.
Reports by Serbian tabloids, which could not be independently verified, said all of the threats "came from abroad as a sign of pressure" for Serbia's refusal to introduce sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
After being the only European company, besides Turkish carriers, to maintain regular flights to Russia despite Western flight sanctions, National airline Air Serbia has faced several bomb threats over the past months.
"Serbia is the target of a special warfare that comes from different European addresses," said Serbia's pro-Russian Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin.