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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 May, 2004, 21:17 GMT 22:17 UK
Headless candidate found in Italy
Carlo Cirillo poster
Mr Cirillo's wife put up posters when her husband went missing
The headless corpse of a candidate in upcoming local elections in southern Italy has been found two days after he disappeared on his way to work.

Carlo Cirillo, 43, was running for a seat on Pompeii's city council in elections to be held on 12-13 June.

Police, who are still searching for his head, are not ruling out any lead.

But some officials said a Naples-area mafia known as the Camorra could be behind it and are calling for the council election to be suspended.

Mr Cirillo, who was married with two children, was last seen when he set off for work on Monday.

When he failed to turn up, his wife plastered posters with his photograph around the local area in the hope someone knew where he was.

His body was found near a road on Wednesday night, Italian television reported. It appeared his head had been cut off with an axe or hatchet.

Mobsters

Mr Cirillo was running as part of a coalition of parties from the left and centre in Pompeii, the modern town that has grown up near its ancient namesake buried by the Mount Vesuvius volcano in 79 AD.

Italian news reports said there was no immediate indication that his murder was linked to organised crime.

But some politicians were quick to blame the Camorra crime syndicate.

"The horrible assassination of this candidate is the tip of the iceberg of Camorra groups which work to influence the electorate," Michele Florino, a senator from the National Alliance party, told Reuters.

The Pompeii council has in the past been suspended because of suspicions that Camorra mobsters had infiltrated its ranks.


SEE ALSO:
Naples Mafia 'target' detained
30 Mar 04  |  Europe
Country profile: Italy
25 May 04  |  Country profiles



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