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Last Updated: Monday, 28 February, 2005, 01:41 GMT
'Naples crime boss' held in Spain
Raffaele Amato
Mr Amato has been accused of murder and drug trafficking
The head of a Mafia gang waging a bloody turf war in the Italian city of Naples has been arrested, police say.

Raffaele Amato was apprehended on Saturday night as he left a casino in the Spanish city of Barcelona.

Italy's interior minister says his capture means the two Mafia factions blamed for a spate of killings in Naples have both been "decapitated".

More than 130 people have died in a year of clashes between gangs competing for control of Naples' drug trade.

The gang allegedly captained by Mr Amato is thought to have been involved in a feud with the Di Lauro family, part of the Naples Camorra crime syndicate.

Late in January, Italian police arrested Cosimo di Lauro, son of clan boss Paolo di Lauro, who is still on the loose.

Appeal for witnesses

Mr Amato is now likely to be extradited to Italy, where he has been accused of murder and drug trafficking.

Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said his capture is "a signal to the people of Naples that we are winning the fight against the Mafia".

He urged more witnesses to break the Mafia code of silence and step forward with evidence.

Many of those killed in clashes between the Neapolitan gangsters have been bystanders.

"I had promised that we would respond blow by blow to the Mafia attacks. We are now in the process of making them pay with interest," Mr Pisanu said.

Hunt for elusive Naples mafiosi
01 Feb 05 |  Europe
Mafia turf war grips Naples
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06 Nov 04 |  Europe

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