At least one police officer and one protester injured and dozens of protesters arrested, police say, as authorities use tear fuel and water cannon to quell demonstrations.
Police have fired water cannon and tear fuel as stone-throwing protesters stormed the headquarters of the opposition group – the Democratic Party – within the Albanian capital, Tirana, amid a deepening energy wrestle.
At least one police officer and one protester had been injured and dozens of protesters had been arrested, police stated on Saturday. The protests had been later dispersed.
The protesters had been supporters of former president and prime minister, Sali Berisha, who was thrown out of the social gathering final yr after Washington banned him from getting into the United States over alleged corruption.
Last May, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated Berisha was concerned in corrupt acts throughout his 2005-13 tenure as prime minister and used “his power for his own benefit and to enrich his political allies and his family members”, allegations Berisha has denied.
Berisha, 77, is making an attempt to take away the Democrats’ chief, Lulzim Basha, whom he accuses of being a “hostage” of Prime Minister Edi Rama of the left-wing Socialist Party.
During Saturday’s unrest, Berisha supporters used hammers to smash open newly put in metallic safety doorways on the workplaces and threw up ladders in a bid to reach the second flooring.
Police stated in an announcement they had been compelled to intervene after “a group of lawmakers inside the Democratic Party requested police help because lives were in danger”.
Local media stated folks contained in the constructing had sought to maintain the protesters out by spraying hearth extinguishers earlier than police arrived.
“The battle will continue … we consider the party building as our home and we will liberate our home,” stated Berisha, talking simply after he was stopped from approaching the constructing once more by police utilizing pepper spray in opposition to him and his supporters.
Yuri Kim, The US ambassador in Albania, stated Washington was “deeply concerned” about tensions surrounding the Democratic Party headquarters.
“We call on protest organizers to reject violence and exercise calm. Those inciting violence or undermining the rule of law will be held accountable,” Kim posted on social media.
Meanwhile, the EU delegation in Albania known as all these concerned to train “calm and restraint”.
The European Union Delegation condemns the acts of violence which have taken place as we speak and calls on all actors concerned to train calm and restraint. There have to be no room for violence in politics. 1/3
— EU in Albania (@EUinAlbania) January 8, 2022
“There must be no room for violence in politics,” it tweeted.
“Albania’s EU integration path needs a solid opposition that contributes to the country’s reform agenda, responding to the aspiration of the Albanian people who overwhelmingly want to see Albania into the EU,” the workplace added.