Albanian cannabis growers and 800 police battle in lawless village of Lazarat | World news |

Growers trying to thwart attempts to uproot cannabis plantations have machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades



The Albanian police force patrols Lazarat. Gangs there are believed to produce about 900 metric tonnes of cannabis a year. Photograph: AP


Gunfire rang out on Tuesday from a lawless village in southern Albania as hundreds more police arrived to battle well-armed cannabis growers who were trying to thwart a government crackdown.



Over the past few weeks, Albanian authorities have launched a nationwide operation to uproot the cannabis plantations.


Special forces police officers took up positions Tuesday around the village, taking cover from the gunfire but holding back from entering Lazarat.


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