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Albanian military finds hand grenade cache in northern town

TIRANA, Albania - Albania’s Defence Ministry says it has found scores of hand grenades in a northern city that are believed to have been looted from army depots in 1997 during civil unrest sparked by a failed Ponzi scheme.

A statement Saturday said a town hall cleaning staff in Puke, 140 kilometres (87 miles) north of Tirana, on Friday found a 120 mm shell in a garden. The military’s explosive ordnance disposal unit then found 47 hand grenades nearby that it said were “a serious threat to peoples’ lives.”

Albania, a NATO member since 2009, has demolished some 26,000 tons of ammunition and more than 100,000 small weapons.

Some 656,000 light weapons, 1.5 billion rounds of ammunition, 3.5 million hand grenades and 1 million land mines were stolen from Albanian army depots in 1997.
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