Two Russian and one Ukrainian national have been arrested in Albania after they tried to enter on Saturday (20 August) a restricted military zone and attacked the soldiers guarding it.
The incident happened during the evening at the Gramsh Military Plant. Guards noticed suspicious activity at the perimeter of the facility and immediately informed the head of guards that an individual had tried to enter and take photos.
Guards first asked the individual to stop, but they tried to flee the scene. He was approached by the guards with the intention of being arrested but turned on them and sprayed them in the face with what is believed to be a nerve-paralysing spray.
The Russian individual was still apprehended, and another two suspects were spotted outside the perimeter of the plant. Police blocked a Chevrolet vehicle and apprehended one male Russian citizen and one Ukrainian citizen.
Controls carried out by the anti-terrorism unit found an espionage device in one of the suspects bags, concealed in an electronic chip. All suspects declared they are tourists.
The Ministry of Health and Social Protection informs that the two soldiers injured at the Gramsh Plant are in stable condition in the Toxicology Pavilion at the “Mother Teresa” University Hospital Center.
It is reported that the individuals had entered Albania as tourists as Russian citizens do not require a visa during the summer months. Furthermore, it is believed they had been photographing the site for several days prior to the incident and had been spotted carrying cameras.
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The Albanian authorities, including the police, the Ministry of Defense, the State Information Service and the Anti-Terrorist Agency, are involved in the investigation for the full disclosure of the incident.
Albanian authorities have notified the Russian Embassy in Tirana to request in-depth information about the Russian citizens who tried to enter by force the perimeter guarded by military guards.
Prime Minister Edi Rama reacted to the news where he called it a “delicate” event.
“And what pride for the military guards who neutralized the three individuals suspected of espionage. Speedy recovery to the injured, and now let’s wait for the full disclosure of this event!”, says Rama in a post on Twitter.
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