TIRANA, Albania — Protesters angry over the killing of an opposition leader set fire to Albania's main government building Sunday and sent the prime minister and his Cabinet fleeing in a hail of gunfire.
One protester was killed and four guards of Prime Minister Fatos Nano were wounded as marchers and police traded gunfire. Clouds of smoke from burning cars rose over the center of Tirana, the capital.
Opposition leader Sali Berisha urged his followers to remain calm until today's funeral of popular politician Azem Hajdari, 35, who was shot to death Saturday in front of opposition Democratic Party headquarters. A bodyguard also died.
Berisha blamed Nano's Socialist Party for the killing and warned him to resign within 24 hours or face "catastrophic consequences."
The violence raised fears of a repetition of the 1997 nationwide riots that swept this country after the collapse of pyramid investment schemes that cost many Albanians their life savings.
Some fear that instability in Albania could spread throughout the southern Balkans and impede U.S. and European efforts to solve the crisis in neighboring Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians are fighting for independence from Serbia, Yugoslavia's main republic. The rebels maintain sanctuaries in Albania.