March 16, 1997 |
It takes more than an assembly line these days to run the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Albania. It takes Kalashnikov assault rifles. As looting spread to villages surrounding the Albanian capital, the plant--three miles from downtown Tirana--came under repeated attack Friday. The trim white factory, surrounded by a white wall and red metal fencing, was a natural target for roving mobs taking advantage of the complete absence of police in the midst of the country's rebellion.
March 9, 1997 |
Rebels angrily wave assault rifles and badger occupants of cars that navigate helter-skelter through the main boulevard of this southern city, past barricades of broken concrete and metal bars. Few women dare venture outside. Gunfire and explosions cut the air and reverberate over the Adriatic Sea.
April 6, 1997 |
Heavily armed men barred Premier Bashkim Fino from visiting a town north of the capital in a new spasm of lawlessness as Albania waited impatiently for the arrival of an Italian-led security force. About 15 gunmen blocked Fino and other Cabinet ministers at Bushat, 60 miles north of Tirana, the capital, as they traveled toward the town of Shkoder. The gunmen detonated two grenades on the roadside and forced the convoy to turn back.
January 27, 1997 |
Parliament handed President Sali Berisha special powers to restore order Sunday after demonstrators clashed with riot police in the capital and set scores of buildings ablaze in towns across the Balkan nation. Parliament, sitting for the first time on a Sunday since the ruling right-wing Democratic Party swept to power in a 1992 general election, voted at a crisis session to give Berisha the power to deploy troops to unblock roads and guard government buildings.
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.
January 26, 1997 |
Angry Albanians who lost money in high-risk, get-rich-quick schemes seized control of this central town Saturday, beating a government minister and riot police before turning on reporters. Tritan Shehu, Albania's deputy prime minister and foreign minister, was hit in the back of the head with a stone and in the back with an iron bar. As night fell, the streets in this town 60 miles south of the capital, Tirana, belonged to the protesters.