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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 98-02-23

Albanian Telegraphic Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at <>

Albanian Telegraphic Agency


  • [01] Courthouse, prosecutor's office, library burned down (Savings and Trade Bank affiliations raided)
  • [02] Kukes continues without water
  • [03] Interior ministry takes measures to neutralise criminals
  • [04] Prime minister calls national security committee
  • [05] Police forces control Bahçallek bridge
  • [06] Albanian parliamentary delegation visits Italy
  • [07] SP says DP politically inspiring gangs
  • [08] No Greek forces deployed in Shkoder
  • [09] Part of lawmakers cancel visit to Italy to examine anticrime package
  • [10] SP says Shkoder events does not call Ceka's office in question
  • [11] Shkoder police chief named
  • [12] Special forces control entrance of Shkoder city
  • [13] Foreign Minister informs diplomatic corps on Shkoder events
  • [14] Special police forces take Shkoder under control
  • [15] Union for Democracy does not support government against gangs of Shkoder
  • [16] Some 14 persons arrested, the others identified - Shkoder
  • [17] State to act against those who aim at taking power through gangs - declare right opposition leaders -
  • [18] Government coalition parties condemn terrorist acts in Shkoder
  • [19] Situation in Shkoder quieter
  • [20] Shkoder police to be urgently restructured - government says
  • [21] Intensification of bilateral relations in focus of meeting Violante- Gjinushi
  • [22] SP parliamentary group urgently discusses anti-crime package

  • [01] Courthouse, prosecutor's office, library burned down (Savings and Trade Bank affiliations raided)

    SHKODER, Feb 23 (ATA) - Masked gunmen raided on Sunday nights the courthouse, prosecutor's office of the city of Shkodra and have set them on fire burning them down, sources of the Interior Ministry said.

    They said the city's town hall and affiliations of the Savings and Trade Banks were raided. The gunmen did not spare either the "Marin Barleti" library, which was raided and burned down.

    Crackles were heard during the night causing panic and fear. Many private owners were organised to defend their properties. Nevertheless many shops were grabbed by armed and masked groups.

    Local hospital sources said that no injured people have been taken to hospital.

    Sources of the Interior Ministry said that the special forces entered the city of Shkodra on Monday at 07.00. a.m. das/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] Kukes continues without water

    KUKES, Feb 23 (ATA)-By R. Hoxha, The Kukes district for several days now continues to lack water supply.

    A powerful explosion occurred on Sunday at around 17.00 near the central water supply line at the Kolesjan village, 18 km from the Kukes town.

    Consequently, some 35 000 inhabitants of the Kukes town and the surrounding villages continue to suffer for lack of water.

    This is the second explosion at this water pipeline in three days.

    On Saturday, around 04.000 unidentified persons placed explosive charges at the entrance of the central supply line. /s.s/das/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] Interior ministry takes measures to neutralise criminals

    TIRANE, Feb 23 (ATA)-Interior Ministry has taken all measures to finally neutralise the group of criminals, who are terrorizing the Shkoder city.

    The spokesman of the Interior Ministry the Shkoder police units are now on duty and are cooperating with special forces sent from Tirane.

    Late last night terrorists looted the townhall, Bank and religious institutions. Their aim is to destabilise the situation.

    The group of criminals have now taken up positions at the Bahcallek and Thive bridges, south of Shkoder.

    The spokesman said this event has been analysed, pointing out the responsibilities for the poor performance of the police in immediately attacking the gang.

    For lack of vigilance, Shkoder police chief Mithat Havari has been dismissed from duty. /s.s/das/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] Prime minister calls national security committee

    TIRANA, Feb 23 (ATA) - Albania's prime minister Fatos Nano called early on Monday the national security committee to analyse the latest situation in the city of Shkodra where an armed group have been terrorising the city since Sunday, freeing over 60 detainees pending trial in the police station's detention rooms.

    The gunmen had ransacked and burned down institutions, among which the city's mosque and church, a spokesman for the prime minister said.

    Interior minister Neritan Ceka made a chronological presentation of the event saying that the police are determined to eliminate terrorists. Some 35 detainees freed on Saturday are criminals accused of murders and looting and most of the gang are not from Shkoder but people coming from the surrounding areas.

    After massive looting, the gunmen blocked late on Sunday the entrance to the city setting up roadblocks in the Baçallek bridge.

    A team of rapid intervention forces, commanded by the Police Director general, Colonel Sokol Bare, are on the spot waiting to intervene by the force of law at any moment.

    According to the Interior Minister, the night and difficult terrain have delayed operation, which will end today by midday with the elimination of those who do not want to surrender.

    Meanwhile the Shkoder district Police chief, Mithat Havari, has been suspended from duty because of not being on duty in the moment when the gang attacked the police station.

    Meanwhile other members of the National Security Committee asked special coordination between the public order structures and those of local government.

    They also asked to bring to light the responsibilities of those segments of public order forces, which have not acted on time, despite preliminary warnings.

    The need to undertake a profound reform in the order structures, based on professionalism and pure moral and legal figure, was also made evident.

    Prime Minister Fatos Nano called for a full engagement of the order structures, local government, the region's top central governor's office and justice bodies.

    Also, the Defence Ministry structures have been placed on full alert to protect the army units and depots.

    No criminal gang, whichever it be, cannot subdue the state and people, who urge restoration of the rule of law, calm and public peace and protection of property, Nano said. s.s/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] Police forces control Bahçallek bridge

    TIRANA, Feb 23 (ATA) - Albanian rapid intervention forces have got the Bahçallek bridge over the Drini river under control a few minutes before, sources of the Interior Ministry said to ATA.

    The bridge has been blocked since Sunday nights by a group of armed criminals led by a trafficker who surrendered with his group and armaments.

    Special forces have entered the city of Shkodra and are bringing all the state institutions under control.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] Albanian parliamentary delegation visits Italy

    TIRANE, Feb 23 (ATA)-By K. Kostreci, A parliamentary delegation, headed by speaker Skender Gjinushi, on Monday morning arrived in Italy for a 24 hour visit, in the context of "Rome's Inter-parliamentary Days", at the invitation of Speaker of Italian parliament Luciano Violante.

    Also taking part in the delegation is the democrat deputy speaker, Jozefina Topalli, and other DP deputies.

    Gjinushi will have a separate meeting with his counterpart.

    The delegation also includes members of parliamentary commissions for Economy, Foreign Policy, Order and National Information Service (SHIK) who will meet with the respective commissions. /s.s/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] SP says DP politically inspiring gangs

    TIRANA, Feb 23 (ATA) - By Aurel Simoni: Albania's Socialist party (SP) accused on Monday the leadership of the Democratic party (DP) of inspiring politically the destructions taking place recently in Shkodra.

    "The events in Shkodra clearly prove that Berisha's clan, which is leading the DP, is not only the political rear of the criminal gang but also the inspirer, instigator and direct conductor of everything happening in Shkoder," Petro Koçi, SP Organisation Secretary read a statement in a news conference on Monday midday.

    "We urge the DP honest members to distance themselves from the present criminal leadership and express our conviction that none can use the political immunity of the opposition to destroy Albania for the sake of lost seats," Koçi said.

    He said that the destructions were made by "paid terrorist gangs". "I believe that the political inspiration is the DP's best payment for these gangs. Other financial sources are the money they have robbed from the city banks." s.s/das/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] No Greek forces deployed in Shkoder

    TIRANA, Feb 23 (ATA) - A report broadcasted on Monday by Radio Kontakt close to the Democratic party (DP) in Tirana saying that "Greek troops have entered Shkoder" is not true, sources of the Interior Ministry said to ATA.

    "Greek forces have neither left for nor entered Shkodra city. Only the special forces of the Interior Ministry are in the city," the same source said.

    This is false news and it is formulated after the DP's protests urging the withdrawal of the Greek forces from Albania.

    These forces have come to Albania under a parliamentary decision and in a framework of a common accord between the Albanian government and the Greek one, which is an NATO member state.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] Part of lawmakers cancel visit to Italy to examine anticrime package

    TIRANE, Feb 23 (ATA)-By K. Kostreci, A part of the Albanian parliamentary delegation have cancelled their visit to Italy in order to examine the anticrime law package, after the latest events in Shkoder.

    The Albanian parliament's deputy speaker Namik Dokle, Chairman of Order and National Information Service (SHIK) Commission, Luan Hajdaraga, and that of the Law Commission, Fehmi Abdiu, on Monday, decided to urgently examine in commissions the anticrime package, which is expected to be referred to parliament on Tuesday.

    Through this package, which contains six draft-laws, the sentences on crimes against public order become tougher and criminal police structures more efficient.

    The Law Commission Chairman, Abdiu, explains that through this package the order structures are provided with a special status.

    He says that the current law on the use of weapon is unclear and is likely to be misinterpreted, and it is expected to be improved with the new package. /s.s/das/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] SP says Shkoder events does not call Ceka's office in question

    TIRANA, Feb 23 (ATA) - By A. Simoni: An analysis to the Shkodra events would not call office of Neritan Ceka, Interior Minister, in question, Petro Koçi, SP organisation Secretary told a news conference on Monday midday.

    "The present political form of the coalition is the best to establish a legal state in Albania after the destructions last year," Koçi said.

    "The Interior ministry has analysed the events and will conduct other extensive analysis but I think that they will not call Ceka's office in question," he added.

    "The state cannot be involved in Shkodra events although it is responsible for those events," the Socialist secretary said. das/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [11] Shkoder police chief named

    TIRANE, Feb 23 (ATA)-Lulezim Smakaj was appointed Head of Police Department in Shkoder, on Monday by midday.

    "Prime Minister Fatos Nano, on proposal of the Interior Ministry and the top central governor's office in Shkoder, appointed Smakaj as police chief, after Mithat Havari's dismissal," Prime Minister's spokesman Ben Blushi told ATA. /das/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] Special forces control entrance of Shkoder city

    SHKODER, Feb 23 (ATA)-By M.Malja, Interior Ministry special forces on Monday by midday brought under control the Bahçallek bridge, which had been barricaded by an armed group.

    The bridge, linking Shkoder with Tirane, was taken over without facing resistance on the part of the armed group.

    The special forces are now controlling movements on this road axis.

    The Shkoder inhabitants experienced a dreadful night, with armed and masked persons looting and setting to fire the Savings and Commercial Banks, Court, Prosecutor's office, townhall and the city's library.

    On Monday morning, one can see pain in the inhabitants' faces for the damages caused to their city. They all ask for restoration of order and law in the city.

    Bodies of the local government call on people of Shkodra to show self- control and cooperate with the government forces in restoring order.

    They also asked the heads of institutions and enterprises to take measures to protect the latter. das/lm/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [13] Foreign Minister informs diplomatic corps on Shkoder events

    TIRANA, Feb. 23 (ATA) - By Keida Kostreci: Albania's Foreign Minister Paskal Milo informed Monday during a meeting several ambassadors accredited in Albania on the event of Shkoder, where on Sunday an armed group attacked the police directorate, set on fire the courthouse and the prosecutor's office and raided the town-hall, affiliations of the Savings and Commercial Banks.

    Attending the meeting, which was requested by Milo, was the ambassador of Great Britain, France, Italy, Greece, Russia, Turkey, as well as the OSCE ambassador in Tirana, Daan Everts, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, Sokol Gjoka, told a news conference.

    Milo informed the ambassadors on the recent developments of the event and the control put by the special police forces in the Bridge of Bacallek, which was blocked on Sunday by the armed group.

    According to the spokesman, the ambassadors were interested to know whether there was any political motive in the Shkoder event, but the Foreign Minister said that the investigating bodies have not confirmed anything so far regarding this problem.

    "The ambassadors encouraged the Albanian political parties to call on their electorate to distance themselves from such criminal forces and not to fall prey of any provocation," said Gjoka. /mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [14] Special police forces take Shkoder under control

    TIRANA, Feb. 23 (ATA) - The special police forces, in cooperation with the polcie of Shkoder have put the situation under complete control, Interior Ministry spokesman, Artan Bizha, reports.

    According to him, the bridge of Bacallek was taken over without facing resistance. The special forces arrested 10 persons, who were immediately sent to Tirana, while intensive patrollings have started by midday in all neuralgic points of the city.

    The Interior Ministry spokesman pointed out that work is being carried out to reorganize the police directorate of Shkoder. The people of Shkoder distanced itself from the such criminals, who destroyed everything in the town, concluded Bizhga. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [15] Union for Democracy does not support government against gangs of Shkoder

    - Berisha asks a technocrat government -

    TIRANA, Feb. 23 (ATA) - By A. Haxhiu: The Union for Democracy did not join the operations of the police forces to calm down the situation in Shkoder. Leaders of this grouping told Monday a news conference that the actions of the government forces are provocation against the opposition and called on the Shkoder citizens to prevent the aggravation of the situation.

    "The Union for Democracy condemns any act of violence and torching in the Shkoder city and calls on the citizens of Shkoder to help preventing the aggravation of the situation in this town," the Democratic Party leader, Sali Berisha, declared. But on the other hand, the Union for Democracy fiercely condemned the Albanian government for being responsible and provoking directly the latest developments in Shkoder, as well as for deepening the crisis in the country.

    "The Shkoder events speak of an open provocation against the opposition and a primitive revenge against this city. The government coalition is not only able to restore order and tranquility, but is also causing open provocations which lead to the complete destabilization of the country," said Berisha, insisting once again in establishment of a technocrat government. /mima/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [16] Some 14 persons arrested, the others identified - Shkoder

    TIRANA, Feb. 23 (ATA) - By Th. Thanasi: The number of arrested in the town of Shkoder reached 14 until 15:45 on Monday, Ilir Cana, deputy director general of police in the Interior Ministry told ATA.

    "The situation is under the complete control of police and the special forces from Tirana have established roadblocks and patrol along the streets of the city," added Cano.

    According to Cano, "the police are in complete readiness. The terrorists did not manage to destroy the commissariat no. 2."

    Also the special forces of Shkoder are in readiness and are working together with the forces which came from Tirana "to take all the measures for the detention of the persons incriminated in this event," explains Cano, adding that "they have already been identified now." /mima/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [17] State to act against those who aim at taking power through gangs - declare right opposition leaders -

    TIRANA, Feb. 23 (ATA) - By A. Haxhiu: The event of Shkoder is consequence of a tolerant policy followed by the current government, which has left free space to the peesons, who do not recognise the law and the state," Petrit Kalakula, leader of the Right Democratic Party, told ATA on Monday.

    "These people want to take the power through gangs and their destabilizing acts. The people of Shkoder cannot be represented by those who torch libraries, cultural centers and state buildings. The current government should restore order and tranquility in the country and I do not understand its passive stand," ended Kalakula.

    "The Shkoder event is very grave," stressed Fatmir Mehdiu, leader of the Republican Party.

    The Republican Party is against violence and such acts, which can plunge the country into a real chaos. The policy of conflicts in Albania creates premises for such situations. The state should find the concrete responsibilities and take the necessary measures so that such acts of violence are not repeated anymore," said Mehdiu. /mima/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [18] Government coalition parties condemn terrorist acts in Shkoder

    TIRANA, Feb. 23 (ATA) - The parties of the government coalition, the Socialist Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Democratic Alliance, the Human Rights Union Party and the Agrarian Party, strongly condemn the terrorist acts which occurred late on Sunday and early on Monday in the Shkoder city, where state, religious and private institutions were torched and raided, says a join statement of these parties.

    The government coalition parties point out that these criminal acts are testimony of anti-patriotism and aim to return the chaos and flames of destructions, to infringe the restored image of the Albanian state and the new government coalition.

    "In this situation, stresses the statement, the coalition government reconfirms the support for the state institutions and the order forces in their fight against terrorist acts and the organized crime."

    "We hail the courage and determination of these forces to restore normality in the town of Shkoder. This decisive fight for the recovery and stabilization of the Albanian state should not mark any backward step and compromise. The state, which expresses the aspiration of the whole people for order, tranquility and peace, should react without hesitation with the force of law and on behalf of the major interests it defends," says the statement.

    The declaration continues that the political parties, today more than never, should be in the same front to condemn the organized crime and give their contribution in support of police, law and state institutions.

    "Considering the stands of the Democratic Party, we point out that its leadership even this time did not have the courage to distance from the flagrant acts of violence against state and people in Shkoder," reads the statement.

    The government coalition parties join the legal request of Shkoder citizens and the whole public opinion who demand rigorous implementation of law against all those who violate it. The interests of Albania are above all. The protection of these interests is a saint task for everyone, ends the join statement of the government coalition parties. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [19] Situation in Shkoder quieter

    SHKODER, Feb. 23 (ATA) - By M. Malja: The governor of Shkoder, Ali Lacaj, held Monday afternoon a meeting with local authorities, asking them to take all technical and organization measures to safeguard state institutions, sources from the governor's office reported to ATA.

    According to the above source, the administration of the prefecture decided to introduce state of emergency in the city by safeguarding all state institutions throuhg non stop services.

    The council also decided to begin the teaching process in all schools of the city on Tuesday.

    This council will urge local and customs bodies to control the commercial activity in order not to interrupt the supply of people with food articles.

    Meanwhile, the special and local police forces are putting the situation under control.

    The situation in the town is quieter during the afternoon. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [20] Shkoder police to be urgently restructured - government says

    TIRANE, Feb. 23 (ATA) - By A. Simoni: The priority of the Albanian government is the restructuring of the police in Shkoder, which started with the replacement of the police director, PM spokesman, Ben Blushi, told ATA on Monday.

    "Actually, the situation in Shkoder has turned to normal, part of the criminals have been detained and work is being carried out to neutralize the others," said the spokesman.

    "The work for the restoration of the torched institutions will start tomorrow, continued the spokesman, underlining that the restructuring of the police is a priority.

    Premier Nano convened the Security Council on Monday afternoon in which "was finally pointed out the necessity of a deep reform in the order structures on basis of professionalism and of a pure moral and legal figure." /mima/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [21] Intensification of bilateral relations in focus of meeting Violante- Gjinushi

    ROME, Feb. 23 (ATA) - By I. Mehilli: The Albanian parliamentary delegation, headed by Speaker Skender Gjinushi, met Monday with the head of the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament, Luciano Violante, with whom he discussed the intensification of bilateral relations.

    "The aim of these meetings is the strengthening of the role of parliaments in the current policy of globalization and increase of relations between the two countries," said Violante.

    "These meetings are of a special importance for Albania in order to be integrated in the European family," said Gjinushi.

    The Italian President, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, sent a message of greetings and encouragement to both parliament speakers, regarding the important inter-parliamentary projects on which they are discussing.

    Meanwhile, the inter-parliamentary meetings continue, focusing on the political and order developments over the past days in Albania. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [22] SP parliamentary group urgently discusses anti-crime package

    TIRANA, Feb. 23 (ATA) - By K. Kostreci: The parliamentary group of the Socialist Party urgently discussed Monday the package of anti-crime laws, which will pass in parliament through an accelerated procedure on Monday, as well as the event of Shkoder.

    The chairman of this group, Pandeli Majko, told ATA on Monday right after the meeting that "the group has insisted in examining this packet times before, but the accelerated procedure was dictated by the recent event in Shkoder."

    Majko said that the SP parliamentary group did not issue any statement on this event because the investigations have not finished yet.

    Several draft-laws, like "On special forces and rapid intervention forces," "On the criminal Police," "On the use of fire weapons," and "On the ethic code of the Albanian police," will be discussed Tuesday in a parliament sitting in an accelerated procedure.

    On Monday, along with the SP parliamentary group, other groups have started to examine these draft-laws, as well as the Commission of Order and SHIK, and Laws. /mima/mt/

    From the Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at

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