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Governing Party Lawmakers Create Commission To Probe Albania Violence

Prime Minister Sali Berisha

Prime Minister Sali Berisha

Pro-government lawmakers in Albania have voted to create a special commission to investigate antigovernment unrest that the ruling authorities have described as an attempted coup.

The new commission will investigate the violence in Tirana on January 21 in which three people were killed and more than 150 were injured in clashes with police outside the government headquarters.

Only governing party lawmakers attended the January 23 parliament meeting that created the commission, with opposition parties boycotting.

Prime Minister Sali Berisha has called the unrest an attempted coup, blaming opposition extremists for the three deaths.

Opposition leaders say government forces opened fire on demonstrators. The opposition accuses the government of corruption, abuse of power and rigging the last parliamentary elections in 2009 that were narrowly won by Berisha's Democratic Party.

compiled from agency reports