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Page last updated at 18:55 GMT, Monday, 22 September 2008 19:55 UK

Man arrested for Italian shooting

African immigrant protesters confront police in Castelvolturno
The killing of six African immigrants sparked a riot

Italian police have arrested a man over the killing of six African immigrants near Naples last week.

Investigators say they believe the killings, which sparked a riot by local immigrants, were the work of the local mafia, known as the Camorra.

They believe suspect Alfonso Cesarano, 29, was part of a gang that allegedly fired on the immigrants. His family say he had nothing to do with the attack.

Police are still looking for two other people in connection with the killings.

'Turf war'

Police say Mr Cesarano was already under house arrest on drugs charges.

The immigrants were at a shop in the town of Castelvolturno, near Naples, when the attack happened. Shortly before, gunmen had shot dead the owner of a games arcade in the same town, firing 60 bullets into his head and stomach.

Police believe that both attacks were related to a turf war involving the Camorra.

They say the murders may be connected to drugs-trafficking in the town, where African immigrants have recently begun dealing autonomously, according to the Italian news agency Ansa.

The Casalesi clan - one of the most feared groups in the Camorra - is believed to control drug-trafficking and prostitution in the region.

Extra police

The six dead Africans were from Ghana, Togo and Liberia.

After the killings, a crowd of immigrants ran riot in the town, smashing windows and turning over cars.

Television footage showed men wielding metal bars and forcing traffic to stop on Friday.

The immigrants accuse both the police and the mafia of racism for assuming that they are involved in drugs crime.

The Italian Interior Minister, Roberto Maroni, said the arrest - and the planned deployment of 400 extra police and paramilitary Carabinieri - showed that the government had responded properly to the violence.


SEE ALSO
Mafia blamed for Italy killings
19 Sep 08 |  Europe


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