Demonstrators hurled stones and firebombs at police today (Friday Sept 18th) in the fifth successive day of violence in the southern Italian city of Reggio Calabria.
Demonstrators entering building; throwing stones at police; running through streets; building on fire; firefighters.
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Background: Demonstrators hurled stones and firebombs at police today (Friday Sept 18th) in the fifth successive day of violence in the southern Italian city of Reggio Calabria. Demonstrators besieged government buildings and one was set on fire.
The protestors have been campaigning for Reggio Calabria to be made the capital of the newly formed Calabria region.
The trouble began with a general strike on Monday, (September the 14th) and violence followed. It was the worst outbreak since the agitation began.
Today, (Friday, Sept 18th) with shops shut for the fifth day, demonstrators roamed streets already littered with the debris of barricades and burnt out vehicles.
Last night (Thursday) a demonstrator was shot dead and five others were wounded by bullets when they attacked police headquarters and turned the city's cathedral into a fortress for several hours. A policeman was shot in the hand and another died of a heart attack.
Hundreds of police reinforcements were flown into the city from as far north as Padua, swelling police numbers to several thousand.
After a night of terror the city awoke to a tense calm, but violence flared anew as demonstrators clashed with police.
Petrol bombs were hurled and police retaliated with tear gas grenades. Later more shooting was reported.
The Italian President, Signor Saragat, appealed to the people of Reggio Calabria to return to serenity and calm. Prime Minister Emilio Colombo said that further violence could have dramatic and irreparable consequences.