Street violence in Spain after immigrant’s death

8th September 2008, Comments 0 comments

African immigrants clashed with Spanish police in a second night of violence after a 28-year-old Senegalese man was stabbed to death on Saturday night.

8 September 2008

MADRID -- African immigrants clashed with Spanish police in a second night of violence triggered by the killing of a Senegalese man who was apparently trying to break up a fight over drugs, the Interior Ministry said Monday.

Four demonstrators were arrested and a Civil Guard officer was injured, it said.

Africans living in a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Roquetas del Mar, a seaside town in Almeria province on the Mediterranean, threw rocks at an ambulance on a routine call Sunday night, then attacked police who came to restore order, a ministry official in the provincial capital Almeria said.

The violence first broke out in the early hours of Sunday after the stabbing death of a 28-year-old man from Senegal. Enraged Africans set fire to houses and cars. Four protesters were arrested and two police were injured after this first outbreak of rioting, the official said.

Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said the Senegalese man was apparently trying to break up a fight over drugs when he was stabbed.

Speaking in a radio interview, Rubalcaba called the whole affair "an isolated incident".

"I imagine it will all be over tonight, but it will really be over when we know what happened and the killer is arrested," Rubalcaba said.

Police are looking for a small-time dealer identified as a suspect in the killing, the other ministry official said. No arrests have been made in connection with the killing, this official said.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because department rules bar his name from being published.

The violence recalls several days of rioting that broke out in 2000 in El Ejido, 22 kilometres west of Roquetas del Mar, when Spaniards attacked North African immigrants after the killing of a Spanish woman, allegedly by a Moroccan man.

Almeria has a large immigrant population, much of who works in sprawling greenhouses that are major suppliers of fruit and vegetables to Spain and the rest of Europe.

[AP / Expatica]

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