Italy sends in army after riot erupts on council estate near Naples over new virus outbreak

Italy sends in army after riot erupts on council estate near Naples over new virus outbreakItaly sent soldiers and riot police as reinforcements on Friday to a council estate in the south of the country where a cluster of coronavirus cases among foreign farm workers has sparked tensions with locals. Violence flared between Italian residents and migrant workers on Thursday and Friday in the town of Mondragone, north of Naples, after five blocks of flats were locked down in an outbreak of 43 positive cases, mostly among Roma and Bulgarian field workers. The trouble reportedly began after a group of Bulgarians attempted to force their way through a cordon put in place earlier this week, to protest not being able to return to work. Police persuaded them to return inside, but a few were later spotted heading out. A throng of angry resident Italians then gathered below the tower blocks shouting insults at the inhabitants, some of whom responded by throwing chairs and objects from their balconies. The affected council estate is home to some 300 Italians and 400 migrant workers from Eastern Europe, North Africa and South America. “We have put all the tower blocks in quarantine. Now they need to stay in their homes and respect the rules: for 15 days no-one enters or exits those buildings,” said Campania governor Vincenzo De Luca, who requested extra law enforcement from the interior ministry and threatened to lock down the whole town if screening identifies more than 100 cases. Several vehicles with Bulgarian plates were vandalized and a van was set alight with a molotov cocktail on Friday morning before the army unit arrived.

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