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Albania celebrates Independence Day with a military display

Posted 10:58 a.m. Monday

— Albania has celebrated its Independence Day with a display of Mig-19 Chinese-made jets and other outdated weaponry.

Two jets, a helicopter, rocket launchers, a missile, transport vehicles, guns, other weaponry and a cement bunker from the former communist regime is on show from Monday in the courtyard of the Defense Ministry in the Tirana suburbs.

Albania declared independence in 1912 after five centuries under the Ottoman Empire. After World War II it was tied first to the Soviet Union and then to China, until the fall of communism in 1990.

It joined NATO in 2009 and has replaced outdated weaponry in line with the alliance's standards.

Most of its Eastern Bloc-era transport vehicles, jets, tanks and armored personal carriers, as well as infantry AK-47 assault rifles, have been sold for scrap.

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