Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Albania army clears 2 hotspots of dangerous ammunition

By Associated Press

PUBLISHED: 18 July 2017

TIRANA, Albania (AP) - Albania's Defense Ministry says the army has cleared two hot spots of dangerous ammunition in southern Albania.

A statement Tuesday said 52,000 sq. meters (62,200 sq. yards) of land in Kordhoce and Picar communes, 230 kilometers (140 miles) south of the capital Tirana, were cleared of thousands of shells, grenades and other ammunition.

An explosion in Picar in 1997, when Albanians who lost their life savings in fake pyramid investment schemes looted army depots, killed four soldiers.

Minister Mimi Kodheli said the army will clean four other sites by the end of 2018.

More than 100,000 small weapons and thousands of tons of excess ammunition have been destroyed by the army, which, since the country became a NATO member in 2009, has replaced its old Kalashnikov automatic rifles with NATO-standard weaponry.

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