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Activist shot dead during Albanian vote

An opposition activist lies dead outside a polling station in Albania. The 53-year-old was gunned down Sunday in a shootout that also seriously wounded a local politician, according to reports. The violence comes as Albanians vote in a crucial parliamentary election. The country is bidding to join the European Union, and the vote is seen as a test of its democratic institutions. Prime Minister Sali Berisha is seeking an unprecedented third consecutive term in office. After the shooting, the fiery former cardiologist renewed calls for a peaceful vote. He is facing a strong challenge from the Socialist Party - headed by Edi Rama - leading opinion polls. Albania, a country of about 3 million, has not had a fully free and fair election since the fall of communism in 1991.

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