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Photograph: HINA / mm

 Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic said on Thursday that Croatia was on the highest level of alert following last week's terror attacks in Paris and a shooting incident in Sarajevo this week.

"We must always be on alert. I've never said that a risk of terrorism does not exist. We are on the highest level of alert," Ostojic said in an RTL television programme on Thursday evening.

Asked whether controls have been stepped up on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, he said: "Not just on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, we did that long ago. We should know that any terrorist act, either in Bosnia and Herzegovina or elsewhere, is actually an attack on our life. I think that Croatia as a member of the anti-terrorist coalition must be ready to take preventive action. There's never enough caution. On the other hand, we should not be looking only at our own back yard. We should be looking at a wider picture, which is what we are doing. We exchange information with security services of other countries."

Ostojic said that the police had promptly responded to a report of a suspicious bag found near the French embassy in Zagreb on Thursday evening. "The finding turned out to be negative," he said.

Ostojic said he would be attending a meeting of EU interior and justice ministers in Brussels on Friday, called to discuss initiatives to tighten controls on the EU's external borders. "This doesn't mean only the Schengen area, but also joint action in Greece."

Asked how Croatian citizens would travel to western Europe after a new Schengen regime was adopted, Ostojic said that "ID cards will be enough."

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