Accessibility links

Breaking News

Albania: Protesters Clash With Riot Police

Tirana, 20 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - Thousands of anti-government protesters clashed with riot police in the Albanian capital Tirana today.

Eyewitnesses said the clashes took place after more than 4,000 protesters demonstrated peacefully at a soccer field outside Tirana.

Police wielding truncheons moved in to break up the crowd, hitting demonstrators indiscriminately and firing shots into the air.

An AFP correspondent at the scene said at least one person was injured after stones were thrown. Police are reportedly now in control of the situation.

Authorities had initially allowed the demonstration to go ahead on the sixth anniversary of the fall of communism in Albania.

The latest incident followed months of rioting across the country after the collapse of several fraudulent investment schemes.

Earlier, President Sali Berisha brushed aside demands for the government's resignation and promised to help the thousands of investors who lost their savings.