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Explosion at Albanian weapons depot kills 20

albania April 30, 1997
Web posted at: 9:17 a.m. EDT (1317 GMT)

TIRANA, Albania (CNN) -- At least 20 people were killed Wednesday when a weapons depot exploded in a central Albanian town.

Police said the cause of the explosion at Burell, about 20 miles (35 km) northeast of Tirana, was unknown.

Weapons and ammunitions depots have been a frequent target of looters in recent weeks, since the rebellion that swept the country earlier in the year quieted. The looters often set off explosions in the underground storage areas with torches they carry for illumination.

A depot near Lezha exploded last week while youths were trying to steal explosives, killing eight people and injuring 20. Other explosions have occurred at depots in Gjirokastra and Berat.

The rebellion began with anti-government protests over the collapse of investment schemes that left many Albanians bankrupt. Citizens looted the depots, taking weapons to arm the rebellion.

 
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