The tiny Italian village of Roccabusambra in the Palermo region of Sicily -- a notorious hideout of the Mafia -- has become the centre of a drama with a cast of several hundred policemen.
GV Helicopter prepares to leave, watched by searchers and helicopter takes off (3 shots)
CU Search equipment, ropes, knapsacks (2 shots)
MV Searchers prepares to board helicopter
GV Helicopter takes off watched by other searchers
AERIAL VIEWS Search area (3 shots)
MV Search crew on ground climbing down crevice
Initials BB/0235 BB/0247
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Background: The tiny Italian village of Roccabusambra in the Palermo region of Sicily -- a notorious hideout of the Mafia -- has become the centre of a drama with a cast of several hundred policemen. They are searching for a Mafia burial ground believed to be hidden in one of the several small valleys around the village. It is alleged to contain the bodies of many ??? victims who have mysteriously disappeared.
The search was ordered after the police pieced together evidence of such a macabre cemetery from the confessions of Mafia suspects. If it exists, the police could find the evidence they need to incriminate Mafia killers.
SYNOPSIS: Hundreds of police and carabiniere are searching a mountainous region in Sicily, near the tiny village of Roccabusambra, in the hope of finding a Mafia burial ground which they believe is hidden in one of several small valleys there.
The search was ordered on the strength of evidence extracted from the confessions of Mafia suspects.
The police are expected to be in the area for several days. The Palermo region, where the search is taking place, is a notorious hideout of the Mafia.
The macabre cemetery -- if it exists -- is alleged to contain many bodies. Victims of the Mafia always seem to mysteriously disappear, leaving little evidence on which to base a successful prosecution.
Several sacks of bones are reported to have been found, but the police have not commented on the significance of their find.
Such a grave yard could provide the police with the evidence they need to incriminate Mafia killers who cannot otherwise be brought to justice.