Protest clashes in Albania claim fourth victim

10:00, February 06, 2011      

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A young Albanian man has died of gun wounds sustained in the January 21 protest clashes, becoming the fourth victim in the violence, local media reported Saturday.

The 36-year-old Aleks Nikaj, shot in the head in the clashes between opposition protesters and the security forces outside prime minister's office building in Tirana, died Saturday in a military hospital in Turkey.

Three people were shot dead in the chaos during the January 21 protest by the opposition Socialist Party over alleged corruption and election fraud by the government of Prime Minister Sali Berisha.

Nikaj was transferred to a military hospital in Ankara, Turkey, one week ago for treatment of the gun wound in the head. He died after remaining in a coma for two weeks.

The opposition and the ruling coalition government have been at loggerheads since the 2009 general election. The opposition accused the government of rigging the election and refused to accept its results.

The tension came to a head last month when the Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Ilir Meta was forced from office over corruption allegations.

The opposition has been calling for the resignation of the coalition government led by Sali Berisha and early election, which is due in 2013. Berisha rejected the demand.

The opposition has said that demonstrations will continue until the downfall the coalition government. A new protest rally has been planned for next Friday.


Source: Xinhua
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