Italy: Asylum-seekers clash with police

2011-08-01 17:53

kalahari.com

Rome - Hundreds of asylum-seekers clashed with riot police near an immigrant centre in the southern Italian city of Bari on Monday in a protest to demand refugee status that left at least 35 injured, news media reported.

Protesters hurled rocks and metal bars at police, who responded with tear gas and live rounds fired into the air.

The rioters blocked a main road and a railway and set off fires, throwing stones also at passing vehicles and destroying a passenger bus.

A building in the immigration facility was wrecked, a report said.

The road was later cleared by police but the railway remained blocked by large rocks placed by protesters and negotiations were held to end the stalemate.

Train services were suspended on the affected line and several regional train services cancelled or delayed.

"Those found to be responsible for these actions should be punished," junior interior minister Alfredo Mantovano told reporters.

The protest was the latest in a series of riots at refugee centres in Italy filled with African migrant workers fleeing Libya in recent weeks.

 

- SAPA
Read more on:    italy  |  refugees
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