Man arrested after shooting attack on foreigners in Italy

A man and a passenger in a black Alfa Romeo 147 drove around the town of Macerata opening fire at various places including near the train station as police gave chase

A man and a passenger in a black Alfa Romeo 147 drove around the town of Macerata opening fire at various places including near the train station as police gave chase

Italian police have confirmed that all the victims are of foreign descent, following suggestions in the Italian press that the shootings were racially motivated, with at least four of the victims said to be African migrants. A judge on Saturday confirmed the arrest of the main suspect, identified as 29-year-old Innocent Oseghale.

Italy's interior minister says the suspected gunman in the drive-by shootings of six African immigrants was immersed in "racial hatred" and had an extreme-right background with both neo-Nazi and neo-Fascist ties. "There is an armed man in a vehicle who is shooting in the city", Mayor Romano Carancini said in a statement posted on local Facebook sites. Traini had run on a list for the anti-migrant Northern League party in a local election previous year in the town of Corridonia, but the party lost. As was grave what happened to Pamela.

The suspect was identified as 28-year-old Luca Traini, according to multiple Italian media reports, citing police.

"Someone who shoots is a delinquent, irrespective of the colour of his skin", said Northern league chief Matteo Salvini, in full campaign mode ahead of legislative elections on March 4. "The closeness of the two events makes you imagine there could be a connection", Carancini said.

Photos from the scene show a man being put into a police auto, wearing an Italian flag draped over his shoulders.

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The mayor of Macerata urged people to remain indoors after reports of drive-by shootings in the city of about 43,000, about 200 kilometres east of Rome.

"What was this maggot still doing in Italy?"

He said: "Stay at home until further notice. He wasn't fleeing war, he brought war to Italy", Salvini wrote on Facebook on Thursday.

Right-wing politicians have been using Pamela Mastropietro's killing to promote their anti-migrant message as part of their campaign for the general election.

Gentiloni also said Italy would be "particularly severe against whoever thinks of nourishing this spiral of violence", adding "we will stop it together".

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