THREE Russian ‘spies’ have been arrested after trying to break into an arms factory in Albania, local media report.
One of the invaders reportedly sprayed soldiers guarding the facility in the central town of Gramsh with chemicals during the break-in.
A physical fight then broke out between the Russians and the Albanian guard, the Albanian Daily News reported.
The director of the Uzina e Municioneve factory, Lorenc Zani, said that two Albanian soldiers had been hospitalized following the attack on Saturday evening.
They were taken to a hospital in the capital Tirana, about 70 miles from the factory.
Kreshnik Ajazi, chief prosecutor of Elbasan County, where the attack took place, confirmed to ABC that three Russians had been arrested and were being investigated by anti-terror cops in the Balkan country.
Two of the men are believed to be holders of Russian passports and one of Ukrainian passports.
Photographic material was found and seized from the trio and photos of the factory were also found on memory cards.
Why the men targeted the Gramsh factory is unclear, but military weapons are believed to be held inside.
In a statement, the Albanian Ministry of Defense said: “An incident occurred tonight at the military factory in Gramsh.
“Three citizens with Russian and Ukrainian passports tried to enter the factory.
“The officers guarding the factory reacted immediately, but during the efforts to arrest the 3 foreign nationals, two of our soldiers were injured, who are under the guard of doctors from Tirana Trauma Hospital.
“The foreign nationals have been detained by authorities, while investigations continue to clarify the circumstances of the event.”
Reuters reported how during the period of communist rule under Enver Hoxha, the Gramsh factory was used to produce the Russian type of the AK-47 rifle.
But weapons have not been produced at the factory since 1993.
Until 2004, the factory assembled and adjusted weapons, then until last year the factory was used to conceal weapons.
But the factory remained guarded by the Albanian army, Albanian news site Telegrafi reported.