Shooting of black migrants escalates racial tensions, ahead of Italy elections

The suspect said he shot randomly at migrants in the streets of a small city.

This afternoon, Luca Traini, 28, a known right-wing extremist was ordered to remain in custoday for the suspected of shooting at least eight black migrants, on Saturday, in the streets of the provincial city of Macerata, in central Italy.

Officials said the victims of the shooting spree are currently being treated in the hospital; at least one is in serious condition.

Traini has admitted to police that he shot randomly at the black migrants he saw in the street. He said it was revenge for the murder of Pamela Mastropietro, an 18-year-old Italian woman whose body was found dismembered a few days earlier in two abandoned suitcases outside the city. A Nigerian immigrant was detained in the case.

The news of Mastropietro's death and her body being found outside this sleepy town has been headline news in Italy for many days. Photos of the young, white woman have been shown in media reports.

However, this morning a judge confirmed the detention of 29-year-old Nigerian Innocent Oseghale for hiding and abandoning Mastropietro's body. Investigators believe other Nigerian drug pushers may also have been involved in her death.

Berlusconi said the three governments he led in the past successfully stopped immigration and the current "600,000 migrants are a social bomb that risks exploding." He echoed words by the League party leader Matteo Salvini, part of Berlusconi’s coalition in these elections.

Salvini’s opponents have accused him of "morally arming" Traini with the anti-immigrant invectives.

Members of the ruling center-left party and the popular anti-establishment 5-Star Movement criticized Berlusconi saying that during his leadership, he was the "main culprit for the social bomb of immigration."

Although pollsters believe that the center-right bloc that includes Berlusconi’s party, the League and the far-right Brothers of Italy parties stand to win a large number of votes in the upcoming election they will not be able to obtain a ruling majority.

The populist 5-star movement is also expected to do well, but not win outright, causing an uncertain political future for the country.

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