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The World

January 10, 1988

Opponents of Albania's regime led by strongman Ramiz Alia blew up a bridge near the southern city of Ballsh in the first reported anti-government violence in 24 years, emigre sources in Athens said. The emigres said the bridge's destruction represents a protest over shortages of basic food, including bread and corn, and Alia's hard-line rule. Western diplomats who recently visited the capital, Tirana, said southern Albania is suffering severe food shortages. Rivalries between groups loyal to Alia and former leader Enver Hoxha, who ruled the country with an iron fist for 41 years until his death in 1985, have exacerbated unrest, the emigres said.

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