Italian police have launched a huge operation to crack down on anti-Mafia activities in the southern city of Naples. Nearly 1,000 officers, backed by helicopters, were involved. They hope to stem rising violence in the area. Since the beginning of the year, some 120 people have been killed. There were 52 arrests, among them the son of a local mafia boss who police suspect of ordering numerous assassinations.
Heavy cutting equipment had to be brought in to saw through barricades. The operation took place in the Scampia district and witnesses said the whole area was practically under siege. Several locals came out onto the streets to protest at the police action. Some even shouted that they felt safer under Mafia protection.