On Tuesday, a deadly clash between Albanian forces and the Iranian Mujahideen in Durres was reported, marking a concerning development in the Balkans. The incident unfolded when Albanian police conducted a raid on the residence center of Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), an exiled Iranian group opposed to the Tehran regime. Tragically, the clash resulted in the death of one person.
The police operation took place in Mezez near Durrës, with the objective of executing a court order to confiscate devices and equipment within the complex. The Albanian Prosecutor’s Office had expressed concerns about the group’s alleged involvement in illegal activities, which violated the terms of their agreement to reside in Albania.
Albanian Interior Minister Bledi Cuci clarified that while members of Iran’s MEK resisted the police operation, the police were not responsible for the man’s death. However, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, of which the MEK is a leading member, released a statement asserting that one man was killed and several others were injured during the police operation
They further claimed that over 100 people sustained injuries due to the excessive use of pepper spray by the police. The National Council of Resistance of Iran stated that several individuals were in critical condition and had been transferred to a hospital in Tirana.
The clash occurred as the police attempted to carry out a search authorized by the Albanian Special Court against Corruption and Organized Crime. Between 2013 and 2016, approximately 3,000 MEK members relocated to Albania. The Albanian interior ministry explained that the police operation was initiated because the MEK had failed to adhere to the 2014 agreement that permitted their stay in the country. The Albanian ministry accused the group of violating the commitments they made when they sought refuge in Albania for humanitarian reasons. However, specific details regarding the 2014 agreement remain classified.
The MEK was initially established in 1965 as a left-wing opposition group against the former regime of the Shah of Iran. However, after the 1979 revolution, they turned against the Islamic Republic. The United States designated the MEK as a terrorist organization in 1997 but removed it from the blacklist in 2012 after the group renounced violence.
The clash between Albanian forces and the Iranian Mujahideen in Durres has raised significant concerns, highlighting the complex dynamics at play in the region. The incident underscores the need for a thorough investigation to determine the circumstances surrounding the man’s death and the injuries sustained by others during the police operation.
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