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Albania rocked by blasts at a munition dump

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TIRANA, Albania -- Heavy casualties are feared after a series of powerful explosions at a munitions depot some 15km west of Tirana on Saturday (March 15th). According to official figures so far, seven people died and at least 244 were injured. Many private homes situated near the facility were heavily damaged by the blasts, which continued for two hours. The international airport in Tirana, located near the place of the incident, was forced to close for 30 minutes after all its windows were broken.
The explosions began as teams were moving stocks of World War II-era bombs, bullets and shells stored at the base, a central collection point for the arsenal amassed by Albania's former Stalinist dictatorship. The teams included experts from a US company, hired by NATO to assist the Albanian specialists in dealing with the old arsenal. The first explosion was so strong that it was heard in neighboring Macedonia and in Pristine, where people thought it was a powerful earthquake. Italy, Macedonia, Turkey, Kosovo and Greece have offered support to the Albanian authorities. The reasons for the blasts are still unknown. (Reuters, Makfax, Focus, Beta, AFP, DPA - 15/03/08)
Malteser Albania Civil Protection Department had been in Action. More information about it will be given.
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Station of the Cross

 station1Even this year, during Lent season, as it is in the tradition, on March 8, there was celebrated the Station of the Cross in the Mountain Tarabosh in Shkodra.
This year it was its 10th anniversary organized by the youth group of the Cathedral of Shkodra “Teacher where do you live” (MKB) in collaboration with other catholic youth groups of this Diocese.
Each year the faithful from Shkodra and surroundings climb the mountain of Tarabosh to recall the Passion of Jesus and pray the 14 stops of the Station of the Cross.
On this day the celebration started with the greeting of H.E. Bishop Angelo Massaffra, followed by the greeting of the
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parish priest Dom Gjovalin Sukaj. There were many faithful present, young people, and the members of the catholic youth groups. The prayer of the Station of the Cross began at 9.30 am and it lasted for about four hours.
 Malteser Albania volunteers participated in this prayer with different services, divided into three groups: First Aid team with a car, accompanying team during the procession, and the marketing team for meals and refreshments.
Three Malteser volunteers prayed the 11th Stop “Jesus nailed on the Cross”
At the end of the Station of the Cross, the marketing group served the meals and refreshments.
There were 19 volunteers and 3 staff members present in the activity, 2 cars and the kitchen car. Even it was cloudy and raining; the number of the people was great.

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