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3 people killed during protest

TIRANA, Albania (AP) -- Thousands of people held an anti-government demonstration in Albania's capital on Friday, and at least three people were killed and scores wounded as police using tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons clashed with the protesters.

At least 15 police vehicles were overturned and burned by the more than 20,000 people who took part in the largest and most violent protest that Tirana had seen in years.

"Get Out! Get Out!" the demonstrators shouted as they battled the riot police outside Conservative Prime Minister Sali Berisha's office in the capital.

Berisha accused the opposition Socialists, who called the protest, of trying to overthrow the government with a "Tunisian-style" demonstration -- referring to the rioting that just toppled Tunisia's government.

Tensions have been mounting for months between Albania's government and the Socialists, and they rose sharply this week when the country's deputy prime minister, Ilir Meta, resigned amid scandal.


Church criticizes Berlusconi's morals

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Premier Silvio Berlusconi came under mounting criticism Friday from the Catholic Church over his dalliances with young women, with the pope saying public officials must set good moral examples and Italian bishops planning to discuss the sex scandal.

Pope Benedict XVI didn't mention the scandal or Berlusconi by name. But during an audience with Rome's police chief and police officers, he said public officials must "rediscover their spiritual and moral roots."

Prosecutors have placed Berlusconi and three associates under investigation, alleging he paid for sex with a 17-year-old girl nicknamed Ruby and used his office to cover it up. Prosecutors have said Berlusconi had sex with several prostitutes during parties at his Milan estate.

On Friday, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the head of the Italian bishops' conference, said the scandal would be discussed Monday at a meeting of the conference's main decision-making body, the ANSA news agency reported.


Interim premier vows to step down

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) -- Tunisia's prime minister has pledged to quit politics after elections that he said will be held as soon as possible.

Mohamed Ghannouchi said Friday he will leave power after a transition phase leading to legislative and presidential elections "in the shortest possible time frame."

Protesters have been demanding for days the departure of all remnants of the old guard under ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Ghannouchi was an ally of Ben Ali and has been struggling to restore calm under a new multiparty government.

Tunisians began three days of mourning Friday, lowering flags and broadcasting recitations of the Quran to mourn dozens who died in the protests that drove their autocratic leader from power. About 1,000 demonstrators gathered outside Ghannouchi's offices.

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