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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 99-04-22

Albanian Telegraphic Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at <>

Albanian Telegraphic Agency


  • [01] Evacuation of Kosovars in Albania continues
  • [02] Provocations on Albanian border continue
  • [03] Nine freighters a day unloaded in Durres
  • [04] Serb soldiers open fire on Albanian territory, citizen wounded
  • [05] Hundreds of Kosovars from western countries join KLA ranks after reaching Durres
  • [06] Low rates in Kosova refugees' evacuation
  • [07] KLA says it has ruined a unit of Serb forces - Kosovapress
  • [08] Exchange rates in Tirane on Thursday
  • [09] Transformer in Krume burnt out
  • [10] Tens of villages of Istog and Peje looted and burnt by Serb paramilitaries
  • [11] New camps for Kosovars in Durres prefecture
  • [12] First contingent of Dutch military troops arrives in Durres
  • [13] NATO supports evacuation of displaced Kosovars
  • [14] Majko: We are preparing for the worst scenario, in face of the chaos Milosevic aims to create
  • [15] Private schools to help Kosova children
  • [16] Stomatologic service gratis for displaced Kosovars aged 0-18
  • [17] World Bank credit on projects of community works approved
  • [18] Japanese foundation "Toyota" to finance $ 160.000 on Korean fish
  • [19] Minister says solution to Kosova crisis - immediate, long-term
  • [20] Several weapons discovered in a vehicle near Durres port
  • [21] Turkish Red Crescent sets up a camp for displaced Kosovars in Elbsasan
  • [22] Serbian provocations in Albanian border crossings continue
  • [23] Unidentified persons grab a car of Greek embassy
  • [24] Chief of staff inspects forces in north Albania
  • [25] All should cooperate to challenge Milosevic's plan, minister
  • [26] Albania ready to offer long term accommodation to Kosovars
  • [27] Apache helicopters determine to carry out their mission

  • [01] Evacuation of Kosovars in Albania continues

    TIRANE, April 21 (ata) - By A Haxhiu: Over 220 thousand people is the number of the evacuated Kosovars from the district of Kukes for other districts of the country, sources from the prefecture of Kukes report.

    Still an estimated number of 110 thousand Kosovars is in Kukes, and this is a great number for the capacity of that district. The situation becomes more dramatic with the rains in the recent days which have deteriorated the situation for many Kosovars staying in the open or just covered with plastic sheets. This category of people amounts to nearly 60 thousand people.

    So far, nearly 11 000 transport vehicles, 4 300 cars of the Kosovars and 3 700 vans have been used for the transportation of the Kosovars from Kukes. /lh/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] Provocations on Albanian border continue

    HAS, April 21 (ATA)-By R. Hoxha,

    Provocations by Serb military and police forces on the border with Albania continue.

    Sources from the Has district police station told ATA that Serb military forces opened fire in Qafe e Prushit on Wednesday at around 20:20.

    The fire continued for several minutes, but there were no casualties or material damages.

    The Albanian border forces have been on the alert to respond the fire in case of any attempt by the Serb forces to cross the border.

    Also, on Wednesday morning, there was an exchange of fire in Zogaj of Tropoje. The Serb forces also resorted to heavy machine-guns and mines. The Albanian forces counteracted and after a shoot-out, the Serb forces retreated deeper on their border.

    Border police forces of the Kukes prefecture report that provocations on the Albanian border have increased. /dast/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] Nine freighters a day unloaded in Durres

    DURRES, April 21 (ata) - By S Gjordeni: Nine freighters, mainly from Italy with aid for the displaced Kosovars were unloaded on Wednesday in the port of Durres.

    Sources from the customs house of Durres told ATA that only the ferry boat Mario brought in 120 containers with 2 400 tons of medicaments and foodstuff, while other ferryboats have brought shipments of over 10 thousand tons.

    For the first time 30 tons of aid from the arberesh of Calabria reached the port of Durres on the board of these freighters.

    Four buses from the Red Cross of Cremona, a truck with foodstuff, 3 fire engines and 70 volunteers of the Italian Caritas arrived in Durres with the ferry boat Schilla. The volunteers left on Thursday for the refugee camp of Golem (Kavaje) where they will help serve the Kosovars sheltered in that camp.

    In addition, 84 containers with 1 600 tons of foodstuff were unloaded from the ship Major and three trucks with U.S. assistance were transported by freighter Iliria. Besides the passengers, the freighters Palladio and Liburno of Durres-Italy sea service have also shipped aid for the Kosovars in Albania. /dast/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] Serb soldiers open fire on Albanian territory, citizen wounded

    KUKES, April 22 (ATA)-By R. Hoxha, Serb soldiers, on Thursday morning, opened fire on Albanian territory, on the district of Has, injuring an inhabitant of the Dobrune village.

    Sources from the Has district police station as well as from the prefecture report that on Thursday, at around 08.00, Serb soldiers opened fire on Albanian territory, on the Dobrune village of Has. As a result of the fire, citizen Shefqet Mulaj, inhabitant of the village, was wounded.

    The Albanian border forces responded to the fire. Police reinforcements were immediately rushed to Dobrune, but the Serb forces after a several- minute exchange of gunfire retreated inside their territory.

    In the meantime, sources from the Krume town hospital report that the state of the injured citizen is not life threatening. /s.s/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] Hundreds of Kosovars from western countries join KLA ranks after reaching Durres

    DURRES, April 22 (ata) - Gezim Kabashi: Hundreds of Kosovars, mainly young, continue to reach Durres on boards of Italy-Durres ferry boats, in response to the call of the Kosova Liberation Army General Staff to fight "for the liberation of Kosova from the Serb occupier."

    Two days ago, a group of nearly 100 people, among whom girls and 50 year old men, came from the U.S. and made for Kosova.

    According to sources in the sea port, there are thousands of Kosovars from western countries arriving in Durres in the past four weeks.

    Sources of the port say that the Kosovars keep coming from Europe and U.S. as well as from Australia and Asian countries where they have settled years ago with their families. /dast/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] Low rates in Kosova refugees' evacuation

    KUKES, April 22 (ATA)- By R. Hoxha, Given the decreasing influx of the Kosova refugees through the border point of Morine, the prefecture has concentrated its efforts on evacuating the Kosova refugees, staying for several days in the Kukes district, towards other districts.

    Some 213 901 refugees have so far been evacuated to other districts.

    Qemal Parllaku, responsible for the commission for the evacuation of the Kosova refugees, says that however, the evacuation has been carried on at lower rates, although the possibilities have been greater.

    In the meantime, some 111 953 Kosova refugees have remained in the district of Kukes. They have been concentrated mainly in the Kukes town- hall, where some 40 342 refugees continue to stay and 26 000 in the village, while the rest have been settled in the camps erected during this time by various associations and governments.

    Meanwhile, the local government structures of the Kukes prefecture are concerned at the lack of desire by the Kosova refugees to leave in the direction of other districts of the country. /dast/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] KLA says it has ruined a unit of Serb forces - Kosovapress

    TIRANE, April 22 (ata) - KLA said yesterday that during fighting that took place last Tuesday, it had ruined a unit of the Serb forces and "they have taken new positions" in the border region of Junik.

    There are more than ten days that in the border region near Junik, fierce fighting has been going on between KLA units and Serb military forces, Kosovapress reports.

    The agency reported that Serb forces have attacked with numerous troops and means but KLA units have responded successfully and managed to take new positions. It said that over the fighting on Tuesday "Serb forces had a total unit destroyed."

    The same source reported that Serb artillery is continuing for three days now to hit the city of Kacanik, with no reports for casualties. /p.ta/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] Exchange rates in Tirane on Thursday

    TIRANE, 22 April /ATA - By D.Koša - Following is the buying and selling rates of the foreign currencies against Lek in the Bank of Tirane.

    Kind of foreign currency Lek

    USD 145,5

    DM 79,7

    LIT(1000) 80

    GRD(100) 47,4

    EURO 154,5


    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] Transformer in Krume burnt out

    KRUME, April 22 (ATA)-By R. Hoxha, A quarter of the Krume town has remained in darkness after a 180/10 kilowatt transformer was burnt out two days ago, further worsening the situation in this town with a large number of refugees.

    The district electric affiliation has no reserve transformers.

    According to specialists, the burnt transformer is very difficult to be repaired. /pas/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] Tens of villages of Istog and Peje looted and burnt by Serb paramilitaries

    TIRANE, April 22(ATA)-The Kosovapress agency reports that the Serb paramilitary forces, in their cleansing operations carried out over the last two days, have looted and set ablaze tens of villages of the communes of Istog and Peje.

    The agency says that the villages of Lubozhde, Vrelle, Studenica, Kalicani, Jabllanica e Madhe and Jabllanica e Vogel, Radavci and a part of Dubovci, almost do not exist any more.

    It adds that several villages of the Leshan village have been partly burnt, while the population of these villages, which have left long ago, is sheltered in the Drini valley. /p.ta/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [11] New camps for Kosovars in Durres prefecture

    DURRES, April 22 (ATA)-By S. Gjordeni, Works are underway to set up new camps in the Durres prefecture, where the number of the Kosova refugees has reached 53 000.

    The Durres prefect, Martin Cukalla, told ATA that in this prefecture there are 11 camps and adapted buildings, in which over 7000 Kosovars have been accommodated.

    Cukalla says that works are underway in the camp of Spitalle that holds 18 000 refugees, in which 2 000 refugees have been accommodated so far. Some 1 800 have been accomodated in the camp of Mali i Robit in Golem and 1 700 in the camp of Rrashbull.

    Cukalla adds that works are underway for the construction of two new camps in Rrushkull, backed by American, Spanish and Norwegian aid. Some 1 000 refugees will be accommodated in one of them by the beginning of the next week.

    Some 40 000 Kosovars have so far been accommodated in the Durres city and 5 275 in Kruje. /pas/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] First contingent of Dutch military troops arrives in Durres

    DURRES, April 22 (ATA)-By G. Kabashi, A Dutch navy ship arrived in Durres port on Thursday morning bringing in 220 soldiers to be deployed in Durres port whose main mission will be aid distribution, according to the spokesman of the military contingent, Major Amon Van den Borg.

    The ship also brought 50 vehicles of various types to support the logistics of this military contingent.

    The next contingent of the Dutch military mission to Albania, which includes vehicles and heavy machineries, will leave the Bari port for Durres this evening, said the same source.

    Three Dutch military helicopters, leaving from the Macedonian airports, arrived at Rinas airport on the same day.

    The "Fenice" ferry of the Bari-Durres service brought 12 containers with food, clothes and medicaments on Thursday, an aid which was enabled by the coordination of a group of Albanians residing in Holand with the government of this state. /pas/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [13] NATO supports evacuation of displaced Kosovars

    TIRANE, April 22 (ata) - By Enkelejda Koraqi: On Wednesday some NATO forces helicopters transported hundreds of Kosovars, women, children and elderly people from Kukes to Peshkopi (eastern Albania.)

    As the Department of Public Relations in the Defence Ministry told ATA, the Kosovars were sheltered first in the city sports palace. The people of Peshkopi and the nearby villages offered their aid for the immediate lodging of the arrivals in their homes.

    The humanitarian operation of the NATO forces was followed by representatives of mass media of various countries of the world who were witnesses of the rather grave physical state of the Kosovars. They were told of their great grief over the loss of their family members.

    The representative of the Public Information Office of NATO set up in Tirane, Major Den Biaggio said that this view is indeed very shocking but in the children's faces he saw "a new future, which, certainly, will be much better." /pas/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [14] Majko: We are preparing for the worst scenario, in face of the chaos Milosevic aims to create

    -Prime Minister meets with Parliamentary Secretary of State at Federal Defence Ministry-

    TIRANE, April 22 (ATA)-By E.Nepravishta, "There is a very great sympathy in Germany for all what the Albanian people, Government and You, personally, have done to receive the Kosova war refugees," the Parliamentary Secretary of State at the Federal Defence Ministry, Walter Kolbow, told Prime Minister Majko in Tirane on Thursday.

    The spokesman of the Prime Minister reports that Kolbow hopes that a near visit of Prime Minister Majko to Germany and his meeting with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will contribute to a greater engagement of Germany in the bilateral relations and release of a considerable aid for refugees.

    Majko, expressing his views on the situation in the region said that "Albania is preparing for the worst scenario, in face of the humanitarian catastrophe and chaos Milosevic aims to create by bombarding a region with refugees".

    He reaffirmed the stand of the Albanian government to receive all Kosova war refugees.

    "For such a thing, the food supplies and further construction of reception centres for the refugees, whose number may go as far as half a million people, must be guaranteed. "We stick to this conviction because in this way we help safeguard the stability of other countries of the region, mainly of Macedonia and Montenegro," said Majko.

    PM Majko said that the creation of new reception centres for the refugees should continue not only in border zones but deep in the country especially in the coastal area of Albania. He added that the Albanian Government would be ready to accept a German military group to carry out this mission.

    Mr Kolbow said that the German efforts to assist Albania in this difficult situation will continue. He stressed that he considered important the transparency in the distribution of humanitarian aid and their good administration so that to avoid uncontrolled distribution, their selling in black market and contraband.

    The Parliamentary Secretary said that Germany was concerned for the treatment of the Kosova war refugees in Macedonia and that his government had clearly stated that the Macedonian policy for the refugees was not conformed to international conventions for them, and this would overshadow the perspective of the relations of Europe with Macedonia. /pas/lm/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [15] Private schools to help Kosova children

    TIRANE, April 22 (ATA) - By P.Shuteriqi: About 300 children coming in Tirane due to the exodus of the Kosovars, and accommodated in the Tirane families, are to attend lessons in the Turkish colleges in the capital, Ibrahim Aydogan, Director General of these colleges, told ATA on Thursday. He added that these children will be granted gratis the books, food and transport.

    At the beginning the lessons will be held on Saturdays and on Sundays, but with the passing of time it (the lesson) will be extended every day, said Aydogan, by adding that the total number of Kosovars sheltered in the camps near the grounds of "Dinamo" sports-club amounts to 15 000 USDF.

    Tonin Pavaci, inspector in the Ministry of Education and Science, told ATA that the private school "Galileo Galileo" created possibilities for 80 children coming from Kosova to attend the lessons in this school.

    The Directory of Albanian-Greek college "Arsakeio", Sapfo Mazaraqi, reports that the Kosovars accommodated in the camp of Mullet, situated in the vicinity of Tirane, were given aids consisting in foods, cloths and toys. /pas/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [16] Stomatologic service gratis for displaced Kosovars aged 0-18

    TIRANE, April 22 (ATA) - By R.Xhuvani: Stomatologic service for the displaced Kosovars, aged 0-18, will be carried gratis in the state stomatological clinics beginning from Thursday.

    Spokesman of Albanian Health Ministry, Artur Radi, told ATA that this sector offers gratis service in all the system of state stomatoligic service only in emergency cases and light problems for persons older that 18.

    Medicaments needed to treat theses patients will be secured by this Ministry, the spokesman added. /pas/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [17] World Bank credit on projects of community works approved

    TIRANE, April 22 (ATA) - By D.Koša: Albanian Parliament adopted on early Thursday the draft-law "On ratification of credit agreement between Albania and International Development Agency (IDA) on the project of the community works" The credit of the WB will assist the Albanian public infrastructure and will affect the economic development in the work communities, as well as strengthening of local institutions and facilitating the infrastructural obstacles.

    The project is made up of several components such as the infrastructural works where will be financed and applied about some 258 projects in infrastructure, majority part of which in the rural areas. Projects will be based in the priorities of communities such as roads, water-supplying system, markets and buildings.

    The total cost of the projects is $ 17.4 million. The credit will be disbursed according to the IDA standard conditions with a maturity time of 40 years. Since the time Albania adhered in the International Development Agency, its financial engagements for Albania amount to $ 365.8. /pas/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [18] Japanese foundation "Toyota" to finance $ 160.000 on Korean fish

    TIRANE, April 22 (ATA) - By E.Xhajanka: Japanese Foundation "Toyota" will finance $ 160.000 on a new project on fishfarming in the Pogradeci lake.

    This decision was taken after the meeting hold recently in Washington between the representatives of the World Bank and the Albanian delegation chaired by the Agricultural and Food Minister Lufter Xhuveli.

    The project will be leaded by World Bank experts and foresees to carry out experiments on fisehfarming even in Korce within this year.

    Other issues discussed in this meeting were the work done so far on the aggro-processing project and directions for further improvement of the work on the project, for a greater support they will give to the Albanian industry.

    The parts in the meeting decided to leave Karavasta Lagoon under the attention of the World Bank, which foreseen to finance $ 3 million within this year. /lh/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [19] Minister says solution to Kosova crisis - immediate, long-term

    TIRANA, April 22 (ATA) - By E. Koraqi: The grave situation resulting from a huge influx of Kosova people and frequent tension created by the Serbian side in the Albanian border were at the focus of the meeting between the deputy minister of Defence Ilir Bocka and secretary of state at the German Defence Ministry Walter Kolbow.

    A spokesman of the ministry Albert Mullai said to ATA that the deputy minister told the German guests that the situation was difficult not only for the large number of the displaced people from Kosova and limited possibilities for the Albanian economy but first for the way how people were driven from their houses.

    Deputy minister Boška briefed them at length on the situation in the border with Serb provocations increasing daily but the cool-blooded attitude of the Albanian militaries had avoided a wide-scale confrontation. The solution, according to Boška, should be immediate and long-term.

    The German Secretary of State Walter Kolbow said that "we will continue to help Albania especially in managing the situation created from a huge stream of refugees from Kosova."

    The meeting discussed other fields of cooperation especially in the defence and both sides agreed to promote cooperation. /pas/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [20] Several weapons discovered in a vehicle near Durres port

    DURRES, April 22 (ATA) - By G.Kabashi: Some weapons were found in a vehicle near the ferries' square in Durres harbor on early Wednesday.

    The spokesman of Police Directory in Durres Prefecture said that the event happened at about 10.00 a.m on Wednesday when Ardian Ujka, inhabitant of Shijak tented to enter forcefully in one of the ferries accosted in the ferries' terminal in Durres port, but he was not allowed to enter by the order forces. He shot several times in air in the moment he was leaving the square.

    The order forces shadowed him and after some moments they blocked the his vehicle, said the spokesman adding that they found an arsenal of weapons during the control they exercised in his car.

    The police forces found 3 automatic rifles, 13 clips of cartridges, 4 shells and other military means.

    The investigating group is working to clear out the motives why the vehicle was staying in the Durres harbor, while Ujka a wanted person. /pas/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [21] Turkish Red Crescent sets up a camp for displaced Kosovars in Elbsasan

    TIRANE, April 22 (ATA) - By R.Xhuvani: A ceremony was organized in Mjekes, Elbasan district, on the opening of a camp for dislocated Kosovars which will be administered by the Turkish Red Crescent. Participating in the ceremony was also the Turkish ambassador to Albania, Ahmet Okšun.

    A release of the Turkish embassy reports that some 398 displaced Kosovars are systemized in this camp.

    Depending on the necessities, the capacity of the camp is planned to be 10 000 people. The displaced Kosovars will be supplied with all the necessities for shelter and food.

    The doctors and nurses coming from Turkey will realize the necessary health services for all these persons. /lh/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [22] Serbian provocations in Albanian border crossings continue

    TIRANA, April 22 (ATA) - By E. Nepravishta: Serbian provocations have continued on Thursday at the border crossings in Kukes Prefecture, minister of Information Musa Ulqini told a news conference on Thursday.

    "Today volleys of gunfire from automatic rifles have been fired in the direction of the border crossing of Dobrune, Has, at 7.50. a.m. A soldier was wounded but his life is out of danger," Ulqini said.

    No Serbian soldiers have passed the state border during the increased provocations including incidents in the border crossing of Zogaj recently.

    While Albanian army units are guarding the borders guaranteeing security and integrity of Albania's northern borders, Ulqini said.

    Only 133 Kosova people, who have been driven from their lands, entered Albania on Wednesday via Morina crossing. The total number of Kosova people, who have entered Albania since March 26, is 360 thousands. The Kukes prefecture has some 110 thousand Kosovars. /lh/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [23] Unidentified persons grab a car of Greek embassy

    TIRANA, April 22 (ATA) - By Th. Thanasi: A car of the Greek embassy was grabbed by unidentified persons late on Wednesday at the Catholic Church in Tirana, a police spokesman said to ATA.

    Police said that they had not identified those responsible but they were investigating on the case, the spokesman said. /lh/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [24] Chief of staff inspects forces in north Albania

    KUKES, April 22 (ATA) - By Riza Hoxha: Chief of staff of the Albanian army Brigade General Aleks Andoni inspected on Thursday the units of the second division of infantry at the Kukes prefecture.

    Early on Thursday he met with the prefect Qemal Elezi to discuss the present situation prevailing in the prefecture and northeastern border of Albania. The meeting was held behind close doors and no details were given. The same sources said that the army chief of staff would inspect different units of the second division of infantry of Has, Tropoje.

    General Andoni praised the readiness of the local population not only for the hospitality to Kosova people but also the readiness to defend the territorial integrity of Albania. /lh/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [25] All should cooperate to challenge Milosevic's plan, minister

    TIRANA, April 22 (ATA) - By Urim Bajrami: Albanian deputy foreign minister Pellumb Xhufi held talks on Thursday with the Slovenian Secretary of State Ernest Petric.

    Press office at the Foreign ministry said to ATA that Xhufi briefed the Slovenian secretary on the situation of the Kosova people, who had been forcibly driven from their lands, efforts of the Albanian government and the whole international community to guarantee their life and their accommodation in Albania.

    "The displacement of refugees and their massive deportation to regional countries is part of Milosevic's policy for their destabilisation. Therefore, we should cooperate to challenge this plan," Xhufi said.

    The Slovenian Secretary of State said that Milosevic was trying to expand the political, economic, ethnic crisis all over the Balkans "a high cost of which is being paid by all, but especially by Albanians."

    "The Albanian government as well as the Albanian people are coping with the challenges of the humanitarian crisis successfully. For this, you will have our comprehensive support. We known the regime of Milosevic because it has always aimed at destabilizing the Balkans. But we think that this time it would not manage to because he had to face the international community and NATO."

    A solution to the Kosova crisis, according to the Slovenian government, could be reached through an end to fighting there, withdrawal of Serb and Yugoslav military and police forces from Kosova, return of Albanian refugees under an international protectorate and military guarantee from NATO as well as democratization of Serbia.

    As regards the humanitarian crisis in Albania and elsewhere, the Slovenian government would continue to accord different aid to cope with it together, Petric said. /lh/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [26] Albania ready to offer long term accommodation to Kosovars

    TIRANA, April 22 (ATA) - By Y. Pata: Deputy prime minister Ilir Meta, answering a query in parliament on Thursday, said that the Albanian government was ready to offer long term accommodation to Kosova refugees.

    The number two of the Albanian government told the executive had taken steps to remove gradually the people accommodated in refugee camps to appropriate buildings such as containers and other buildings prepared for them.

    Meta responded to the questions of deputies on the accommodation of Kosovars, international aid, readiness of the Albanian government, measures to maintain law and order and others.

    He said that the Albanian army had taken all measures to defend Albania's territorial integrity by deploying army reinforcement in northeastern zone of Albania. He said that a special police force including some 1.100 selected forces, had been set up to maintain order and law in refugee camps and national roads when aid was being delivered.

    Other government officials were going to respond to the questions of deputies. /lh/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [27] Apache helicopters determine to carry out their mission

    TIRANA, April 22 (ATA) - By E. Koraqi: Apache helicopters, which have arrived recently in Albania, despite the unfavourable weather, are determined to carry out their mission, an NATO spokesman to Albania Captain Martin Downly said to ATA on Thursday.

    As regards the number, place of their deployment and the time to start military operation, Captain Downly did not elaborate but said only that "the other part of the Apache military unit will be deployed in Albania in the coming days."

    Apache helicopters arrived in Albania on Wednesday.

    According to reports from the NATO headquarters in Mons, Belgium, some 24 helicopters were planned to arrive in Albania but this number was expected to double. The use of Apache tank-killing helicopters would be another challenge of the alliance against what had remained by the Serbian military force after the NATO air raids. /lh/ak/

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