Greeks targeted in Himare vote

Suspected Albanian extremists used a bomb to target a senior Greek minority candidate ahead of yesterday’s repeat municipal elections in an area of southern Albania home to a large ethnic Greek minority, while a minority member was seriously injured in an altercation outside a polling center. Vassilis Bolanos, candidate mayor of Himare with the Party of Human Rights Union, was not hurt by the explosive device that went off in the morning near his home as he was heading for his electoral office. Bolanos had won the first vote, on October 12, whose repeat Albania’s electoral commission decided following claims of irregularities. Later in the day, Himare resident Thodoros Lazaris, 30, was stabbed four times by a knife-wielding assailant during a confrontation between Human Rights Union and ruling Socialist Party supporters outside a Himare polling station. Tension between ethnic Greeks and Albanians preceded and followed the October 12 vote. The result of yesterday’s vote is expected in a few days.