About 1,200 French, Italian and Spanish peacekeeping troops landed in Albania Tuesday, raising local hopes that law and order can be restored in Europe’s poorest country, which is still suffering the aftershock of institutional collapse.
Italian transport planes carrying paratroops landed at Tirana airport soon after dawn, while French, Italian and Spanish soldiers and armored vehicles disembarked from naval vessels at Durres, Albania’s major port, 20 miles to the west on the Adriatic coast.
Another 4,800 troops from eight countries are expected over the next three weeks before the Italian-led operation is at full strength in a dozen towns and cities and along major roads in this Vermont-size Balkan state of 3 million citizens.
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