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Albania's army chief of staff sacked over deadly blast
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08:58, June 17, 2008

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Albania's army chief of staff Lieutenant General Luan Hoxha was removed from his post on Monday by the country's President Bamir Topi over a deadly blast three months ago.

Hoxha was sacked at the request of Prime Minister Sali Berisha over the blast which killed 26 people, a spokeswoman from the president's office said.

The blast occurred on March 15 when workers were destroying old munitions on the outskirts of capital Tirana. The blast also injured more than 300 people and destroyed around 5,000 houses.

Some affected people are still staging a hunger strike near the blast scene, asking government for compensation.

Albanian parliament is to vote later Monday to lift the immunity of former Defense minister Fatmir Mediu who has resigned in the wake of the blast.

It was reported there are 100,000 tons of excess ammunition stored across Albania, which it has to empty to become a NATO member.

Albania was invited to join NATO along with Croatia in April at the bloc's summit in Bucharest, capital of Romania.

Source:Xinhua



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