Man arrested in Italy in drive-by shootings of foreigners

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A photo of the alleged shooter being arrested by police. A number of foreign nationals were injured when shots were fired in the Italian city of Macerata.

Police in Italy have arrested a man suspected of opening fire Saturday on foreign nationals in the town of Macerata, injuring several people.

A police photo shows a man being apprehended who appears to have an Italian flag wrapped around his neck.

The drive-by shootings were “racially motivated” and believed to be connected to the recent slaying of an 18-year-old Italian woman in which a Nigerian man was arrested, Macerata’s mayor, Romano Carancini, told CNN.

He said at least four people were injured Saturday.

The shootings took place near where the dismembered body of Pamela Mastropietro was found Tuesday. A Nigerian man was later arrested in connection with the killing.

The suspect in Saturday’s shootings — identified by Carancini as Luca Traini, 28 — was apprehended by police while making a fascist salute in front of a monument to war victims.

According to election records, Traini had been a candidate in the nearby town of Corridonia for the anti-immigration Northern League party in the 2017 local elections but received no votes.

Carancini confirmed to CNN that he was the same man.

“We must be united against hatred,” Carancini said.

Marco Valerio Verni, the uncle of the slain woman Mastropietro, told CNN affiliate Rai News: “All we want is justice. We cannot fight barbarism with more barbarism. Such actions are not justifiable. This country is fed up — but such reactions can never be justified. We are a civilized country. We should not let barbarism prevail over civilization.”

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