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The Italian police arrests Giuseppe Nirta, one of Italy's most-wanted mafia fugitives

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The Italian police arrests Giuseppe Nirta, one of Italy's most-wanted mafia fugitives

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Police in the south west of Italy say they’ve arrested the head of a group in the Calabrian mafia, alleged to be connected with six murders in Germany last year.

Giuseppe Nirta was one of Italy’s most-wanted mafia fugitives, suspected of being the boss of the Nirta-Strangio clan – part of the ‘Ndrangheta mafia organisation. For 17 years, they’ve been at odds with a rival group in San Luca in a feud which led to the murder of Nirta’s daughter-in-law on Christmas Day in 2006. Last August, at Duisberg in Germany, six men linked to the rival clan were shot dead outside a pizzeria.

Italy’s interior minister described Nirta as a dangerous fugitive involved in the feud which, he said, triggered the Duisberg massacre. Although some see the conflict as a feud which began with an egg-throwing incident, Italian police believe it is a fight for control of the drugs market. The ‘Ndrangheta dominate the cocaine trade in Europe and beyond.