March 21, 2016 / 1:37 PM / 3 years ago

Man dies in hand grenade blast in Serbia's capital

BELGRADE (Reuters) - A man detonated what appeared to be a hand grenade in a cake shop owned by a former government minister in the Serbian capital Belgrade on Monday, killing himself, a Serbian police officer said.

The middle-aged man ordered everyone inside to leave the premises, owned by Bratislav Petkovic, a former culture minister, and activated the device, the officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

No one else was injured.

“According to witnesses, the man sat in a booth and blew up himself with a black object we believe was a hand grenade ... his identity is unknown,” the police officer said.

The motive for the blast was not known.

Police sealed off the area around the shop after the blast.

Serbia and most of former Yugoslav republics are still awash with hundreds of thousands of weapons including hand grenades remaining from the wars of the 1990s.

Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Adrian Croft and Alison Williams

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