TIRANA, Albania – Albanian police say they have taken control of a lawless southern village after four days of armed resistance from gangs that turned it into the country's largest illegal marijuana producer.
A police statement Thursday said officers have established control throughout Lazarat, 230 kilometers (140 miles) south of capital Tirana.
The statement said police have seized and destroyed some 13 tons of marijuana and 80,000 plants, and found "considerable quantities" of weapons and ammunition in houses. Thirteen suspected gang members have been arrested.
Some 800 police have been sent to Lazarat this week as part of a nationwide anti-drug operation. Dozens of heavily-armed gang members met them with rocket-propelled grenades, mortar shells and machine guns. One policeman and three villagers suffered gunshot injuries.