Security situation "completely stable" - minister
Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic stated that at this point the security situation in Serbia is completely stable with regard to terrorist threats.Source: Tanjug
"After the attacks in Zvornik (RS) and Kumanovo (Macedonia), we started certain preparations and undertook certain measures, having followed the situation several months prior to the incidents," Stefanovic said late Wednesday.
All the measures being taken are designed to prevent terrorist attacks, the minister said a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Internal Affairs, where he was presenting a report on the results of the Ministry of Interior’s work in the first half of 2015.
"There were a number of signs that certain groups are getting prepared in Kosovo and Metohija, which was confirmed in Kumanovo when determined that the attackers came from our southern province," the minister said.
Stefanovic also said that members of the Serbian Interior Ministry (MUP) also conduct interviews with asylum seekers who may be "interesting" in security terms.
"Many of them are fit for military duty, and one quarter of the men fought in the armed conflicts in Syria. But, these people are not dangerous, as they are passing through Serbia peacefully," he said, adding that the migrants are under the full control of the police and have not caused any serious incident so far.
Commenting on the latest threats to Serbia by Islamists, Stefanovic said he assumes that the Interpol started an investigation in terms of international cooperation.
The number of persons who applied for asylum in Serbia in the first half of this year is eight times the number in the same period last year, he told the committee, and added:
“Despite the increased influx of migrants and asylum seekers in Serbia, the security situation along the state border is stable."
According to the report, a total of 37,389 persons, mostly Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq nationals, expressed an intention to seek asylum in Serbia in the first six months of the year.
“This drastic increase in the number of migrants was also influenced by migrations of Serbian citizens from the region of Kosovo and Metohija, which assumed a downward trend near the end of February,” Stefanovic said.
He observed that activities of criminal groups who smuggle people had been more pronounced in the same period.
The police reported a total of 437 criminal acts carried out by 562 persons, the traffickers being mostly of Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Macedonian and Croatian nationalities, the interior minister said.