Albanian opposition holds anti-govt rally, demands new vote

Albanian opposition supporters have surrounded the parliament building and are demanding that the government resign, claiming it's corrupt and has links to organized crime.

Hundreds of police and rolls of barbed wire are protecting the parliament building in downtown Tirana, the capital, from the protesters and Thursday's parliament session has already been cancelled.

Opposition lawmakers, led by the center-right Democratic Party of Lulzim Basha, have signed letters of resignation from parliament and are demanding an early election.

The U.S. embassy statement in Tirana urged opposition supporters "to peacefully exercise their right of assembly and reject violence" and the government "to practice restraint."

At last week's rally, protesters tried to force their way into Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama's office. Police used tear gas to keep them away.