Deadly Shootout in Elbasan as Political Tension Rising High Ahead of April 25 Elections

A deadly armed confrontation happened on Wednesday in the city of Elbasan where Pjerin Xhuvani, a doctor by profession, was shot dead with a firearm in the 5 Maji neighborhood. He has been accused by the opposition Democratic Party (DP) of supporting the ruling Socialist Party (SP) and PM Edi Rama and being linked to gangs.
The perpetrator of the assassination is said to be Arbër Paplekaj, a former RENEA operative, who accompanied Gazment Bardhi, a DP official.
Paplekaj admitted the crime saying he shot for self-defense after being shot earlier by people who were buying votes. Eyewitnesses reportedly said that Paplekaj got out of a PD van and shot at the place where Xhuvani was staying.
Xhuvani was accused by the DP of being one of the organizers of the physical clash between SP and DP supporters on Summer Day in Elbasan last March.
In the meantime police sources reported that as a result of the exchange of fire, four people were injured, among them a member of the police force "Eagle", who tried to prevent the crime.
"Some persons suspected of having knowledge or connection with the event were escorted to the Local Police Directorates of Elbasan and Tirana, and it became possible to handcuff the perpetrator of the murder, citizen A. P., a former police officer," said the preliminary report of the police.
In addition police said a special team of experts is set up to shed full light on the deadly incident which has created high tension in Elbasan, considered a stronghold of the SP ahead of the general election to be held on April 25. /