TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The Albanian Defense Ministry has sent in the military to secure the country's only international airport after armed men stole a large sum of cash as it was loaded onto a passenger plane.

Defense Minister Olta Xhacka said Wednesday she has ordered military police and a special air forces battalion to install a security perimeter around Mother Teresa International Airport in Tirana.

The robbers took the cash as it was loaded onto an Austrian Airlines plane on Tuesday afternoon. One robber was shot dead in an exchange of fire with police, but the cash was not recovered.

Cash is regularly sent out of Albania by private banks because the country's central bank does not accept foreign currency.

Hong Kong-based China Everbright Ltd, which runs the airport, rejected as "incorrect" claims by the interior minister that security at the airport had failed.

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