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Edi Rama

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At least 13 people have died in Albania after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake has struck the country on November 26, bringing down buildings and leaving people trapped under rubble.

According to a defense ministry spokeswoman, one man was killed after jumping from a window in panic.

The quake hit 21 miles north-west of the capital, Tirana, in the early hours of Tuesday.

Hours later, a separate earthquake struck the city of Mostar in Bosnia. There were no reports of casualties.

Albanian PM Edi Rama tweeted: “We have victims. We are working to do everything possible in the affected areas.”

According to Albanian state media, more than 600 people have been treated in hospital, including more than 300 in Tirana and in the coastal city of Durres.

Schools will be closed for the day.

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Emergency workers told Albanian media that one of the dead was an elderly woman who had managed to save her grandson by cradling him with her body.

The defense ministry spokeswoman confirmed firefighters and army staff were helping residents caught under the rubble in Durres, where four people were killed.

Three of those who died were in the town of Thumane, 25 miles to the north-west of Tirana and close to the epicenter. There are fears more people are trapped under rubble.

The man who jumped from the balcony was killed further north, in Kurbin. Another person died in Lezha.

Rescuers in the city were seen trying to free a young boy trapped in the rubble.

Albania was ill-equipped to deal with the situation, he said, and had appealed for outside help.

There have been a number of aftershocks, including one of 5.3-magnitude, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center said.

The Balkans is in an area prone to seismic activity.

The November 26 earthquake has been described by authorities as the strongest to hit Albania in decades.

In 1979, a 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit Albania leaving 136 dead and more than 1,000 injured.


Albania has opened to the public for the first time a huge secret bunker that the communist regime built in 1970’s to survive a nuclear bomb.

Then dictator Enver Hoxha wanted the bunker near the capital Tirana to guard against Soviet Union or US attacks.

PM Edi Rama showed several Western ambassadors around the 106-room, five-storey complex on November 22.

Enver Hoxha’s regime built up to 700,000 bunkers before he died in 1985. The pro-Chinese regime was toppled in 1990.

“We have opened today a thesaurus of the collective memory that presents thousands of pieces of the sad events and life under communism,” Edi Rama said in a speech in the bunker’s 200-seat hall.

The bunker has been opened to the public ahead of Albania’s World War Two liberation day on November 29.

The government plans to use it as a tourist attraction and an exhibition space for artists.

Albanian PM Edi Rama says his country will not allow the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons on its soil.

Edi Rama was responding to two days of protests in Tirana and other cities.

Albania recently destroyed its own chemical stockpile, and the US had requested that it host the dismantling of Syria’s arsenal.

Under the deal brokered by Russia to remove Syria’s chemical weapons, it was agreed that they should be destroyed outside the country if possible.

Albania will not allow the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons on its soil

Albania will not allow the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons on its soil

Edi Rama attacked the Albanian opposition for having criticized the government’s willingness to consider the idea.

A key meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) – the international watchdog supervising the destruction – had adjourned for several hours, awaiting Albania’s decision.

The OPCW needs to come up with an alternative quickly, as the deadline for a detailed plan on destroying Damascus’s toxic agents runs out on Friday.

France has been named as a possible alternative site for destroying Syria’s 1,000 or so tonnes of chemical arms.

Norway has pledged to send a civilian cargo ship and a navy frigate to Syrian ports to pick up the weapons and carry them elsewhere for destruction.

However, Norway said that it could not destroy the weapons on its own soil because it lacked the expertise.

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