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Slovakia: Romani home targeted by machine gun fire, no injuries

Šaľa, Slovakia, 1.8.2013 21:36, (ROMEA)
Unidentified assailants shot 22 bullets from a machine gun on 31 August 2013 at a Romani home in the village of Hornej Kráľovej u Šali in Slovakia. (PHOTO: Repro Markíza TV)
Unidentified assailants shot 22 bullets from a machine gun on 31 August 2013 at a Romani home in the village of Hornej Kráľovej u Šali in Slovakia. (PHOTO: Repro Markíza TV)

Yesterday assailants who have yet to be identified shot 22 bullets from a machine gun at a Romani home in the village of Hornej Kráľovej u Šali in Slovakia. The Markíza television station reported that at approximately 3 AM two cars pulled up in front of the building and several angry men reportedly shouted "Come out you dirty Gypsies!" at the Romani occupants of the home.  

Two generations of a Romani family live in the house and everyone was asleep at the start of the attack. "The perpetrators first poured fuel on the entrance and then began to shoot at the house from a model 58 machine gun," Božena Bruchterová, spokesperson for the police in Nitra, told the SITA press agency.

Fortunately, even though the shooter emptied almost an entire cartridge into the building - bullets were found in the bedroom where the Romani couple slept and in the kitchen - no one was physically injured. The attackers also shot up a car parked in front of the house and one parked in the front yard.

The Romani residents reportedly hid under the bed during the shooting. Their assailants were reportedly not masked and the victims allegedly know them.

The shooters managed to flee before police could arrive. The Markíza television station reported that the incident began in a local pub with a fight over a broken glass.

Police do not consider the incident to have been racially motivated. "Police are investigating this incident as felony vandalism," Bruchterová told the Slovak daily SME.

Irena Biháriová of the "People against Racism" (Luďia proti rasizmu) organization sharply disagrees with the police evaluation. "I consider it absurd that these actions should be considered felony vandalism. The shouting that is said to have accompanied the shooting ('Come out you dirty Gypsies!') clearly indicates that these armed perpetrators intended to 'settle accounts' with the persons living in that house. This wasn't about their property. The logic of the investigating body is that the perpetrators came to this Romani family with the intention of using a machine gun to damage the plaster on the walls and windows. We must discuss whether such 'logic' comes from a lack of expertise or whether it is yet another traditional example of minimizing a case in which Romani people are the victims," Biháriová told news server Romea.cz.

ryz, Sme.sk, SITA, Markíza, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Kriminalita, Racism, Slovakia, střelba, útok, vandalismus, news, Roma



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