Albanian police: planned rally threatens security

January 27, 2011 19:50

TIRANA, Albania — Albanian police said they cannot be blamed if more violence erupts at a new anti-government protest planned for Friday, a week after three opposition supporters were shot dead when a similar rally in the capital turned violent.

The forthcoming opposition Socialist protest is "a threat to national security, public order, crime prevention and human rights," a police statement Thursday said.

More than 150 protesters and security officers were injured in last week's deadly clashes, at a rally by former Tirana mayor Edi Rama's Socialist party outside a main government building. The Socialists are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Sali Berisha's government for alleged corruption, following months of simmering tension over contested national elections.

Despite international calls for restraint, Rama's party insists on going ahead with the new demonstration, in which Socialist officials and lawmakers plan to lay flowers where the three protesters died.

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