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12.25 3 Feb 2018


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Updated: 16.20

A man has been arrested in Italy following a series of drive-by shootings that appeared to be racially motivated.

The suspect Luca Traini, who has no previous criminal record, was detained about two hours after the shooting rampage began from inside a black Alfa Romeo in Macerata.

According to the ANSA news agency, the 28-year-old Italian made a fascist salute at the city's war memorial before being held by police.

Photos from the scene show a man being put into a police car, wearing an Italian flag draped over his shoulders.

Macerata's mayor Romano Carancini said six people - five men and one woman, were injured. One of them is in a serious condition.

All of those injured were foreigners, police confirmed, and Mr Carancini said they were black.

Macerata, Italy | Image: Google Earth

Residents had been told to stay inside during the shooting and public transport was halted.

The gunman's motivation is not yet clear but the city of Macerata, with a population of 43,000 people, was the scene of the murder of a white Italian woman earlier in the week.

Eighteen-year-old Pamela Mastropietro's remains were found in two suitcases on Thursday.

The chief suspect in that case is a Nigerian.

Italy is in the final weeks of a heated campaign ahead of its election on March 4th.

Matteo Salvini, head of the anti-migrant Northern League, has capitalised on Ms Mastropietro's murder in his campaign, and has vowed to deport 150,000 migrants in his first year of office if elected.


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