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Police officer shot dead, 2 injured in village known for cannabis production in south Albania

  • Medical staff transport a police officer to a hospital after he was injured in a shootout in the village of Lazarat, 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of the capital Tirana, Wednesday, June 24, 2015. A shootout in an Albanian village known as a major illegal marijuana production area has left a 31-year-old police officer dead and two others wounded, police said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

    Medical staff transport a police officer to a hospital after he was injured in a shootout in the village of Lazarat, 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of the capital Tirana, Wednesday, June 24, 2015. A shootout in an Albanian village known as a major illegal marijuana production area has left a 31-year-old police officer dead and two others wounded, police said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)  (The Associated Press)

  • Medical staff carry a police officer out of a helicopter after he was injured in a shootout in the village of Lazarat, 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of the capital Tirana, Wednesday, June 24, 2015. A shootout in an Albanian village known as a major illegal marijuana production area has left a 31-year-old police officer dead and two others wounded, police said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

    Medical staff carry a police officer out of a helicopter after he was injured in a shootout in the village of Lazarat, 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of the capital Tirana, Wednesday, June 24, 2015. A shootout in an Albanian village known as a major illegal marijuana production area has left a 31-year-old police officer dead and two others wounded, police said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)  (The Associated Press)

Albanian police say one officer has been killed and two others injured from shots coming from suspected criminal gangs operating in the southern village of Lazarat, the target of a massive raid last year to crack down on major cannabis production.

Spokesman Ardi Bita said Wednesday that shots fired from a house in Lazarat killed a 31-year-old special forces officer and injured two others after police forces at a roadblock outside the village stopped a car transporting weapons.

Lazarat came to prominence last year after a five-day police siege and raid that destroyed 102 tons of marijuana and 530,000 cannabis plants. The drugs had an estimated market value at the time of 6.4 billion euros ($8.2 billion) — more than 60 percent of the country's annual GDP.