January 8, 2010

Migrant workers riot in southern Italy

Protests continue
Last Updated: Friday, January 8, 2010 | 11:15 AM ET Comments6Recommend13
CBC News
Police and national carabinieri in riot gear clash with immigrant workers in the streets of Rosarno in southern Italy on Thursday. (Adriana Sapone/Associated Press)
Rioting by immigrant workers in southern Italy is reported to have left 14 people injured, authorities said Friday.

The Interior Ministry said the injured included security officers, protesters and residents. Seven immigrants were reported to have been arrested.

Demonstrations in the Calabrian town of Rosarno started Thursday evening after two immigrants were lightly wounded in a shooting. Calling the attack racially motivated, angry migrants, mostly from Africa, threw rocks at police, attacked residents, and damaged property.

Shops and school in Rosarno were reported to be closed Friday as protests continued.

The governor of Calabria, Agazio Loiero, called the violence "unacceptable" but added that the migrants had been "strongly provoked."

The region attracts migrant workers each year to help at harvest time. The workers often live in poor conditions and endure low wages.

The area is also grappling with an organized crime problem. A crime syndicate has been blamed for a recent courthouse bombing and past violence against migrant workers.

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