Several African migrants have been injured after a man opened fire on pedestrians in the Italian city of Macerata on Saturday.
No fewer than six migrants – five men and a woman – were shot by a man driving and firing from his car window in an attack that police said appeared to be racially motivated.
According to state broadcaster Rai, police cleared the streets and urged residents to avoid open places before announcing that a man had been arrested.
Though details of the suspect weren’t given, he’s said to be a white Italian man who hailed from Macerata.
Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that the man had fired from a car window at two young African migrants shortly after 11am local time, leaving one badly wounded before two other migrants, including a woman, were shot.
Guardian reports that the shootings happened days after a 29-year-old Nigerian was arrested after the dismembered body of an 18-year-old Italian woman, Pamela Mastropietro, was discovered in two suitcases near Macerata, in the Marche region around the city, about 125 miles (200km) north-east of Rome.
A preliminary postmortem was unable to establish the cause of her death, while the suspect, who was denied asylum last year, has refused to talk to police.
Rightwing politicians campaigning before national elections in March have leapt on Mastropietro’s gruesome death to promote their anti-migrant message.
“What was this worm still doing in Italy?” Matteo Salvini, the head of the far-right Northern League, wrote on Facebook, accusing the centre-left government of responsibility for Mastropietro’s death for allowing migrants to stay in the country. “The left has blood on its hands.”
The influx of migrants, particularly from Africa, into Italy has continued to be a thorny issue in the government and society.