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African migrants riot over 'racist' attack in Italy

Italian police in riot gear face a group of immigrant workers in the streets Rosarno, 7 January 2010
Fourteen Italians and six immigrants were reportedly injured in the rioting

Several people have been injured in rioting that broke out in southern Italy after an attack on immigrant farm workers by local youths.

The migrants, mainly Africans, clashed with police after taking to the streets of the Calabrian town of Rosarno.

They were protesting after youths in a car used air rifles to shoot and hurt several immigrants returning from working on the farms.

Hundreds of illegal immigrants work in the mainly agricultural region.

They are often employed as day labourers picking fruit and vegetables.

Regional governor Agazio Loeiro described the migrants' actions as "unacceptable" but said there had been strong provocation.

The protesters clashed with police in riot gear after taking to the streets on Thursday night. Cars were burned and shop windows smashed.

Many shouted "We are not animals" and carried signs saying "Italians here are racist", Reuters news agency reports.

Several of the protesters have been arrested. The Corriere della Sera newspaper said 14 Italians and six immigrants had been injured.



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