Police raids in Germany after Mafia-style killings

Police investigating the Mafia-like killings of six Italians staged a series of raids across Germany on Friday and briefly held seven people for questioning.

Police raids in Germany after Mafia-style killings

Police investigating the Mafia-like killings of six Italians staged a series of raids across Germany on Friday and briefly held seven people for questioning.

Police said cars and other objects were seized in the raids in different towns, including some in Germany's most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia where the Italians were shot to death.

The seven persons detained were not suspects in the crime, a police spokesman said. They where held for identity checks then later released, he added.

It was the second series of raids following a search of the victims' homes in the immediate aftermath of the shootings outside a restaurant in Duisburg in the early hours of August 15.

Police are still searching for two men suspected of killing the Italians in their cars outside the Da Bruno pizzeria near the Ruhr city's main railway station.

More than 380 tips had been received from the population and a composite photograph of one of the suspects had been circulated. Video footage apparently showing two men running away from the scene had been posted on the internet and called up 63,000 times.

One of the victims, an 18-year-old youth who was serving an apprenticeship at the restaurant, was buried Friday in the nearby town of Muelheim.

Around 100 mourners, most of them family members and close friends, attended the funeral service, which was guarded by police.

Many of those present carried white or red roses in their hands. Men and women fought back their tears as the coffin was brought to the cemetery for burial.

The bodies of the other five victims were returned to Italy where they were buried on Thursday amid tight security and without the usual funeral cortege.

"He was a lovely, quiet lad. We can't believe what happened," said Gordana Curkovic, a neighbour who had known the boy for 10 years.

"He wouldn't harm a fly. I never saw him involved with the Mafia," said a 20-year-old friend of the dead youth.

Young girls from his circle of friends linked arms as they made their way past waiting journalists to the graveside. Some of them carried a large picture of the group with the words "Your Friends," written on it.

"You can go now. The show's over," shouted one angry mourner to photographers waiting outside the cemetery fence.

The dead men have been linked to the Mafia-like 'Ndrangheta from Calabria. According to Italian reports, they were probably victims of a 15-year vendetta involving the Strangio-Nirta and the Vottari- Romeo-Pelle families from San Luca in Calabria.

DPA

Last Mod: 24 Ağustos 2007, 18:26
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