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Albania: Italian Navy Ship Runs Aground

Vlora, 22 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - An Italian navy ship ran aground off the coast of Vlora overnight and is likely to be stuck until the stormy seas in the region become calmer.

Grigor Sefelri, an Albanian marine pilot in Vlora, said the crew of the Vitorio Venetto apparently stopped the ship, instead of keeping it under steam, as is normal procedure in stormy weather. No injuries or damage to the ship were reported.

The Vitorio Venetto transported hundreds of Italian soldiers to the southern Albanian port town of Vlora.

In Vlora, the 850 Italian and Greek soldiers who arrived yesterday spent a second day cleaning up a burned and looted aviation academy. They plan to use the facility as their headquarters.

The troops are members of the 6,000 strong multinational force that is providing security for aid workers in Albania.

In Tirana today, a bomb was placed under the car of a high-ranking Interior Ministry official. The bomb exploded soon after daybreak and shattered nearby windows. No one was hurt.