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Page last updated at 13:10 GMT, Friday, 7 August 2009 14:10 UK

Hungary Roma mourn 'gang victim'

By Nick Thorpe
BBC News, Budapest

Local citizens sit on chairs as Hungarian policemen secure an area in Kisleta, Hungary, 3 August 2009
Police believe the shooting was linked to five other murders in the past year

The sixth victim of what police believe is an armed gang targeting members of Hungary's large Roma (Gypsy) community is being buried in the country's east.

Maria Balogh, 45, was shot dead at her home in the village of Kisleta early on Monday morning.

Her 13-year-old daughter, Ketrin, was also shot several times and remains in intensive care at Nyiregyhaza hospital.

Police are treating the attack as the work of a group believed responsible for several murders in the past year.

In April, a Roma man was shot dead in front of his home in north-eastern Hungary, two months after a Roma father and his five-year-old son were killed in front of their home south of Budapest, which was then set on fire.

Those deaths followed the murder of a Roma couple in north-eastern Hungary last November.

In each case, the victims have come from outlying houses in Roma settlements, although Monday's shooting was the first time the killers had actually entered a house.

Other attacks where the apparent targets escaped injury have also been documented.

Police have set up a 100-member team and offered a large reward to catch the perpetrators, but so far to no avail.

Up to 7% of the Hungarian population are Roma, with the majority living increasingly segregated lives in the countryside.

Kisleta is a small community some 200 miles (320km) east of the capital Budapest.



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