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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 November, 2004, 19:52 GMT
Police smash Naples Mafia 'summit'
Confiscated gun
The police raid netted several guns

Police in Naples have smashed a Mafia "summit" and arrested seven people suspected of involvement in an escalating war between rival gangs, Italian media reported on Thursday.

The raid took place last night in the troubled area of Scampia, on the northern outskirts of the southern Italian city.

Naples has been hit by a violent turf war between gangs linked to the Camorra, the local Mafia.

The war was triggered by the breaking away of a splinter group from a once all-powerful clan, the Di Lauro family. The splinter group, known as the "secessionists", has been trying to assert its control over drugs and prostitution rackets in the area.


Police expressed satisfaction that the raid had hit the "secessionists" hard.

"Last night's arrests involved two people who were among the promoters of the secessionist group," Vittorio Pisani, the chief of the Naples Flying Squad, told Italian Rai TV.

"The other people arrested were part of the firing squad of the secessionist wing of the Di Lauro family," he added.

Police also confiscated guns, machine guns and a hand-grenade.

The operation earned the praise of Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, who congratulated Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu.

On Tuesday, Mr Pisanu announced he was sending 325 extra police to the city after a particularly bloody weekend in which six people were killed in Mafia vendettas.

Among them was a 22-year-old woman slain because she was romantically involved with a man involved in the Mafia war.

More than 100 people have died in Mafia-related attacks in the Naples region since January.

But the current toll still falls far short of the last Mafia war in the city. During the mob violence of the early 1980s, 273 people were killed in one year - 1981 - alone.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

Mafia turf war grips Naples
24 Nov 04 |  Europe
Naples Mafia 'target' detained
30 Mar 04 |  Europe

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