After three nights of violent rioting, armed police patrolled the southern Italian town of Reggio Calabria yesterday (Thursday).
After three nights of violent rioting, armed police patrolled the southern Italian town of Reggio Calabria yesterday (Thursday). Aided by a helicopter, police countered any signs of renewed violence by firing teargas grenades. But the situation took a critical turn as soon as darkness fell.
Banks, bars and shops were closed for the fourth day running as the town remained paralysed by a general strike. The strikers are demanding that the town should become the capital of the newly formed region of Calabria.
Burned-out cars and debris from the rioting litter the streets -- the street cleaners are also on strike.
By yesterday, 79 people had been arrested and an unknown number injured. Then, with darkness falling, the crisis deepened. Shots were fired for the first time.
One man was shot dead near the railway station. A young Carabiniere officer was severely wounded at the same time. Authorities admitted they had lost control of the situation as one band of gunmen kept police at bay from the cathedral, while armed groups roamed the streets ransacking shops and attacking police patrols.