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Albania: Protesters Maintain Pressure On Albanian Leaders

VLORE, Albania, 13 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - Albanian protesters staged a ninth day of anti-government demonstrations in the Adriatic port town of Vlore today.

Correspondents report that some 3,000 protesters converged on Vlore's central square, shouting: "Down with the government."

The demonstration comes just hours after a policeman was shot dead near his home in what authorities described as a gangland killing. Prosecutors said the shooting was unrelated to this week's clashes in Vlore in which one man was fatally shot and two others died of heart attacks during battles between protesters and police.

Albania has been rocked by anti-government protests after a series of dubious get-rich-quick investment schemes collapsed, robbing hundreds of thousands of their life savings.

Irate investors accuse the President Sali Berisha and the government of letting the funds flourish. Opposition parties said Berisha's Democratic Party used money from the schemes to finance a winning election campaign last year. The government has denied the allegations.