Two immigrants were wounded on Friday as thousands gathered in southern Italy for a second night of protests and rioting sparked by a Thursday attack in which two African farm workers were injured by air rifles.
AFP - Two immigrants were shot in the legs on Friday in a second night of violence in a southern Italian town, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.
The pair were wounded with hunting shotguns in Rosarno, in the Calabria region, but were not seriously injured, ANSA quoted police sources as saying.
The incident came a day after violence erupted when hundreds of immigrants, most of them Africans employed illegally as farm labourers, protested after some of their number were shot at with an air rifle, ANSA reported.
A MAXIMUM 30 % OF FOREIGN PUPILS PER CLASS…
….in primary and secondary schools from the 2010-2011 school year. The Italian education ministry wants to “promote integration” and avoid creating “ghetto classes”.
The main opposition Democrat party is not convinced. It is demanding greater spending on education.
In the school year 2007-2008, there were 575,000 foreign pupils in Italian schools, the majority of them in the centre or the north of the country, according to the Italian press agency Ansa.
Demonstrators set alight cars and smashed windscreens on Thursday night, the agency said, before police intervened, leading to a scuffle that left several of the demonstrators wounded.
The disturbances continued on Friday with about 2,000 immigrants holding a sit-in in the centre of Rosarno while Italian residents blocked roads and occupied the town hall to demand immigrants be removed, Italian media reported.
Around 100 people armed with batons and metal bars set up a barricade on Friday evening near a place where many immigrants meet.
ANSA said that five immigrants were deliberately run over by vehicles driven by residents, though none were seriously injured.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees is to visit the area on Saturday and is concerned there could be an "immigrant hunt" or that residents may seek revenge on them, the agency's spokeswoman in Italy, Laura Boldrini, said.
"We are very worried about the situation at Rosarno and the tension, which remains high today," she told AFP.
Boldrini said authorities must find those responsible for the aggression against the immigrants, who included political refugees and asylum seekers.
She said there should be immediate dialogue including about the "inhuman conditions in which these workers are living: the unhealthy cabins without water, without hygiene".
Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, a member of the anti-immigrant Northern League party, said the tensions were a result of "too much tolerance towards clandestine immigration".
According to Italy's main trade union CGIL, about 50,000 immigrant workers in Italy live in poor conditions similar to those in Rosarno.
It said immigrants employed as farm labourers earned low wages of around 25 euro (36 dollars) a day.
The union also accused the mafia of controlling the sector and criticised Maroni's statement, saying immigrants were paid "miserable salaries and have terrible hours, similar to slavery".
Date created : 2010-01-08