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Police Destroy Over 40 Tons Of Marijuana In Lawless Albanian Village

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ALBANIA
An elderly Albanian woman brings out of her home in Lazarat village, seized marijuana plants on June 20, 2014. AFP PHOTO / GENT SHKULLAKU (Photo credit should read GENT SHKULLAKU/AFP/Getty Images) | GENT SHKULLAKU via Getty Images
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TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police say they have so far destroyed some 43 tons of marijuana and 133,000 cannabis plants in a lawless southern village that they fought their way into last week.

In a statement they said searches of more than 500 homes in Lazarat also turned up 26 heavy guns, 218 light weapons, ammunition, rocket-propelled grenades, explosives and other weapons. Police also destroyed five drug-processing laboratories and made 23 arrests. The operation is continuing.

Last week, about 800 police come under sustained gunfire from automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars for four days. One policeman and three villagers were injured during the operation.

Lazarat, 230 kilometers (140 miles) south of Tirana, has been the center of marijuana production in Albania, which is also a transit country for hard drugs.