Red Cross attempts Albanian aid drop

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The Independent Online
Geneva (AP) - As a trial-run for large-scale aid deliveries, the Red Cross plans to send about 12 tons of food and medicines to Albania tomorrow.

Michel Kleiner, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said yesterday that the aid would be distributed among hospitals, old people's homes and orphanages in southern Albania.

If the operation goes smoothly, the Geneva-based ICRC hopes to send supplies to the north of the country.

"The main purpose is to see how ... the Red Cross emblem is respected," Mr Kleiner said.

Two French planes landed yesterday with 40 tons of aid in only the second such delivery since Tirana airport reopened two weeks ago. Humanitarian organizations are worried about the lack of well-protected warehouses near the airport to keep supplies safe from looters.