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Asylum seekers clash with Italian police

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Asylum seekers clash with Italian police


In Italy, at least 30 people were hurt during clashes between asylum seekers and the police on Monday.

The immigrants set fire to rubbish bins and car tyres before lashing out at officers in the south-eastern city of Bari.

The men also blocked traffic on a local highway and a long-distance railway track delaying transport services.

Twenty officers were injured in the standoff.

The immigrants said they were angry at delays in processing their settlement claims. Later, officials held discussions with the men near a holding centre where they were staying.

“They are asking for permission to stay, residency permits on humanitarian grounds,” said Nicola Fratojanni, a regional immigration official. “They are almost all from sub-Saharan Africa, mostly workers in Libya, who have fled war or worse from the Gaddafi regime.”

Italy is a major entry point for thousands of asylum seekers from Africa and eastern Europe. In recent years, Rome has cracked down on illegal immigration and tightened residency procedures.

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