Albanian Guard Reportedly Says One City Is in State of 'Revolution'

Associated Press

Newspapers on Saturday quoted an Albanian border guard who fled the country as saying that security forces fired on protesters last week and that one city was in a state of "revolution."

Yugoslavia's Tanjug news agency, meanwhile, said there was "nothing unusual" going on in Albania, one day after reporting that authorities there had imposed a virtual state of emergency to prevent unrest.

Also Saturday, the Albanian state-run news agency ATA quoted an Italian diplomat as denying that there was unrest in the isolated country.

Albania, located between Greece and Yugoslavia, is the last bastion of Stalinism in Eastern Europe and is closed to most foreigners, so none of the reports could be independently confirmed.

Daily newspapers in Greece on Saturday quoted Albert Tzeka, 20, as saying widespread protests had broken out in at least three cities in his country against the hard-line Communist leadership.

"The people have risen up, the people and the students . . . especially in Shkoder, Korce and Sarande," Tzeka was quoted as saying.

"In Shkoder there is a revolution. The army and the (security police) fired on the people and there are many dead and injured," the daily newspaper Kathimerini quoted Tzeka as saying.

Tzeka said that in Shkoder "the police, wanting to subdue the demonstrators, fired upon them. They hanged four students to set an example." He added that the demonstrators seemed determined to continue their uprising.

Albania's ATA news agency Saturday quoted Paolo de Nicola, the interim charge d'affaires of the Italian Embassy in Tirana, as saying that Italian media reports about unrest in Albania "do not refer to reality, they are groundless."

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