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Albania: Search Continues For Victims Of Sinking

Rome, 31 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - An Italian plane and warship are continuing a search for survivors of last week's sinking of an Albanian refugee ship in the Adriatic Sea. No further passengers have been reported found.

Rescue ships saved 34 people from the boat that was carrying refugees from Albania to Italy on Friday. Four people were found dead.

Albania's ambassador to Italy Pandeli Pasko said that according to interviews with survivors, 83 people remained missing. Earlier, Pasko said 79 were missing.

Survivors of the shipwreck accuse the Italian Navy of deliberately ramming their boat and sinking it. The navy blames the Albanian boat captain for causing the accident when he tried to evade orders to stop.

A statement from the Italian Senate said the upper house of parliament's Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee will meet tomorrow to discuss the accident. Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini and Defense Minister Beniamino Andreatta are expected to address the committee.