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13 January 2010
Hundreds of immigrants, mostly illegal temporary workers from sub-Saharan Africa, have been evacuated from an Italian town, authorities said on Sunday, following some of the worst racial violence in Italy since World War II, Reuters reports.
The evacuation followed three days of clashes in the Calabrian town of Rosarno, which began when some local residents began attacking immigrants who responded by rioting. At least 53 people, including 18 policemen, were injured in the unrest in the town, located in the South-West of the country.
Authorities moved more than 1,000 people to immigrant centres around Italy in an operation that lasted from Saturday through to the early hours of Sunday.
Interior minister Roberto Maroni said the government had "brilliantly resolved the problem of public order" and thanked police for organising the exodus "in an exemplary way."
The violence has inflamed a long-running political debate on immigration.