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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 August, 2004, 18:32 GMT 19:32 UK
Gun that killed Mussolini shown
The director of Albania's National Historical Museum shows the rifle used by Italian guerrillas to execute Mussolini
The French sub-machine gun was kept in secretive Albania
The weapon used to kill Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in April 1945 has resurfaced in Albania's national historical museum.

Officials displayed the French-made sub-machine gun, saying it had been donated to the former Albanian communist regime in 1957.

They say it was a gift from one of the eight Italian partisans who executed the fascist strongman.

The gun has not been shown since the fall of communism in Albania in 1991.

Exhibition order

Shaban Sinani, general director of Albania's state archives, said the 7.65-calibre gun had been sent to communist leader Enver Hoxha's government by former Italian partisan Valter Audisio.

Mr Audisio donated the weapon on the condition that its whereabouts be kept secret, Mr Sinani added.

Benito Mussolini
Partisans were told to execute Mussolini
After Mr Audisio's death in 1973, he said, Albania's last communist leader, Ramiz Alia, ordered the gun to be exhibited - along with Mr Audisio's posthumous book On Behalf of the Italian People.

Mussolini was caught in northern Italy after his regime had crumbled.

The partisans were under orders to execute him.

Mr Audisio fired the rifle five times, after two pistols jammed.

Besides Mussolini, the bullets also killed his lover Clara Petacci.

The partisans had no orders to execute her, but she was hit because she clung to him.

Their corpses were hung on display in Milan.




SEE ALSO:
Mussolini letters go missing
04 Mar 03  |  Europe
Italians struggle with Mussolini legacy
24 Jul 02  |  Crossing Continents
Mussolini's museum pieces
13 Mar 02  |  Europe



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