Molotov cocktails and tear gas deployed in escalation of anti-government protests in Albania

epaselect epa07563245 Policemen try to avoid exploding molotov bombs thrown by protesters, during a protest in Tirana, Albania, 11 May 2019. Opposition MPs have submited their parlamentary mandates and demand the resignation of Prime Minister Edi Rama and call for early elections. EPA-EFE/MALTON DIBRA

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Several thousand demonstrators took to the streets of Tirana on Saturday to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Edi Rama, clashing with security forces at several points across the city.

Protestors hurled Molotov cocktails, firecrackers, and other objects at the entrance of the main government building in the Albanian capital. Police fired tear gas when a number of protesters broke through the cordon, with security forces also using tear gas to clear the area.

Opposition protest in Tirana

Opposition leaders believe Rama and his aides were responsible for alleged electoral fraud in 2017,and also accuse the government of corruption. They urge Rama’s resignation and the creation of a transitional Cabinet.

“We are here with a mission, to liberate Albania from crime and corruption, to make Albania like the rest of Europe,” said the leader of opposition Democratic Party Lulzim Basha.

Police representatives urged Basha to remove rioters and petrol bomb attackers from the ranks of protesters.

For the last three months, there have been anti-government demonstrations in Albania. Mr Rama faces allegations of electoral fraud and corruption.

Opposition leader Lulzim Basha urged crowds to continue protests until Mr Rama steps down from power.

Via DW / BBC

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