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Russians, Ukrainian Arrested Trying to Enter Albanian Army Plant

Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania speaks during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, after their meeting in the Federal Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, April 11, 2022. EPA/SOEREN STACHE / POOL / TASS

Two Albanian soldiers were injured while trying to stop two Russians and a Ukrainian national from entering a military plant, the country's defense ministry said late Saturday evening.

One of the suspects allegedly attacked the guards while trying to take photographs of the Gramsh factory in central Albania, which is used for dismantling derelict weapons, the ministry said in a statement.

"In an attempt to escape control, one of the Russian nationals, identified by the initials M.Z., 24, used neuroparalyzing spray on the two security guards," the ministry added.

Two other suspects — a Russian citizen identified as S.T., 33, and Ukrainian national F.A., 25 — were also arrested near the factory.

The two injured Albanian soldiers were taken to a Tirana hospital after sustaining eye injuries, statement said.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said the three individuals were "suspected of espionage."

The military police, alonside intelligence and anti-terrorism agencies, rushed to the scene to investigate the incident.

Albania has been a NATO member since 2009.

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