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Sabtu, 9 Januari 2010

Immigrant riot in Italy leaves 37 injured after series of beatings by white youths

Rampage: Immigrant workers take part in a protest demonstration in Rosarno, Italy, after a night of rioting that was sparked by an attack on African farm workers by a gang of white youths.

Violence broke out in southern Italy yesterday as hundreds of migrant workers, most of them Africans, went on a rampage in retaliation to two of their number being shot and three more beaten with iron bars by white youths.
Authorities reporting at least 37 were wounded in the ensuing clashes, including 18 police officers and five migrants, as the violence reached its second day in the coastal town of Rosarno in Calabria.
The riots in the region were sparked off when when two migrants were wounded by pellet fire two days ago, starting the cycle of violence, said a top police official, Renato Cortese, in the regional capital.

Immigrant workers smash a garbage container during a stand-off with police officers in riot gear, in the streets of Rosarno, near Reggio Calabria, southern Italy.

Officials at Santa Maria degli Ungheresi Hospital in the nearby town of Polistena said one of the migrants beaten by metal rods had surgery for a kidney injury and another was treated for an eye socket injury, and the third wounded in the attack was taken to another hospital for brain surgery.
The rioting began after Thursday's shooting, in which two men - one from Nigeria, the other from Togo - were lightly injured.
The foreigners angrily blamed that shooting on racism, and groups of protesters stoned police, attacked residents and smashed shop windows and cars.
Friday, angry migrants, mostly from African nations, some armed with metal bars or wooden sticks, scuffled with police and residents in the streets of Rosarno.
Other residents were holed up in their homes, state radio reported, and schools and shops were shuttered.
Cortese said of the situation in Rosarno: 'I'd say you could step out and buy some bread only because you have to eat, but if I had to choose I wouldn't go out for an evening stroll.'
Police said late Friday evening that at least 37 people had been injured, including the five migrants, 14 residents and 18 police officers.
A young mother with a bruise under an eye and a bandage on the side of her head, told state TV a group of migrants started smashing her car.
The woman said that, fearful for the safety of her small children, she managed to drive about two meters before her attackers pushed her car into a wall.

Furious: 37 people were wounded as immigrant workers rioted through the streets of Rosarno after two of their number were shot, and three others beaten with metal pipes by white yourths.

An immigrant argues with a resident during the protest. Some local residents complained of damge to property, including one woman whose car was set fire to after she had fled

Terrified, she fled with her family, and the assailants set her car afire, she said.
With television cameras rolling in the streets, some residents shouted that they wanted the migrants to leave the town.
An exact number of arrests was not available because the clashes were continuing, although they were 'under control', said the paramilitary Carabinieri police press office.
Earlier, the Interior Ministry said seven migrants had been arrested.
The Italians arrested included one who tried to hit a migrant with a bulldozer as the rioters headed toward the town's center.
Another Italian resident was taken into custody after trying to hit a migrant with a car, the Italian news agency ANSA reported from Rosarno, a town of 15,000 people.

Clamping down: Police turned out in numbers to get the immigrants transferred from Rosarno back to centers for would-be immigrants in Crotone, southern Italy. About 150 immigrants will be transferred on Friday night

Agazio Loiero, the governor of the Calabria region, told Sky TV said that the violence was 'unacceptable' but the migrants had been 'strongly provoked'.
Thousands of migrants move to the area each year to help with the seasonal fruit harvest.
Living in improvised dormitories, including abandoned factories and huts, they earn as little as £18 in a dawn-to-dusk work day. Often without work permits, they do jobs many Italians shun, despite chronic underemployment in the poorly developed south.
Interior Minister Roberto Maroni convened a special meeting to discuss the rioting. Afterward, the ministry created a task force to deal with the violence and 'aspects linked to the exploitation of illegal labor and health care' for the migrants.
Calabria also is the base of the international crime syndicate called 'Ndrangheta.
The unrest follows a recent decision by the Italian authorities to increase police numbers in Reggio Calabria after a weekend bomb blast damaged a courthouse in what was seen as a move by the mob to intimidate magistrates.
The combination of ethnic strife and organized crime has sparked violence before among migrant communities in southern Italy. In 2008, migrants rioted in the Naples area after six Ghanians were murdered in a gangland-style shooting blamed on the local Camorra crime syndicate.

Clamping down: Police turned out in numbers to get the immigrants transferred from Rosarno back to centers for would-be immigrants in Crotone, southern Italy. About 150 immigrants will be transferred on Friday night

An immigrant holds a placard reading 'Rosarno, why racism in Italy' in front of Italian anti-riot policemen

The abandoned factory turned into a dormitory by migrant workers in Rosarno, where several of them were attacked by white youths

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