Albania's official newspapers Friday published a statement by the country's first non-Communist party, which condemned civil violence in a northern city as an obstacle to democratic change.
The Democratic Party of Albania asked Albanians to show "that we are a civilized nation." Ten people were reported injured in violence in the city of Shkodra on Thursday.Observers were surprised the hard-line communist government of the isolated country was willing to give the new party access to the official press.
Police and troops were called in to deal with the disorder, in which hundreds of "hooligans" attacked officials and buildings, wounding the local police chief and two other officers, official reports said.
The reports said the attackers were armed with knives and iron bars and used dynamite in attacks on Communist Party and government buildings in the town. They also ransacked the local radio station.
Journalists reached in Tirana, the Albanian capital, said at least 1,000 citizens also took to the streets in an effort to stop the violence.
A reporter with the state news agency ATA said 30 people were detained.
The Democratic Party of Albania, founded Wednesday after the ruling Communist Party agreed to allow alternative parties, denounced the unrest.