Spain: Mob sets two Romani-occupied homes on fire
Spanish media report that about 300 people gathered on the afternoon of Saturday 5 July in the small town of Estepa near Seville in Spain to protest rising crime rates. The demonstration turned into a violent attack on the homes of Romani residents whom the protesters believe responsible for theft.
The illegal demonstration was convened through social networking sites and got out of hand when the mob decided to converge on the Romani-occupied homes. Those who perpetrated the attack suspect Romani residents of being responsible for an increased number of robberies and thefts in the small town of about 13 000.
Five homes total were targeted for attack, with two set on fire by the furious mob. Some Spanish media outlets reported the homes were looted.
The mob took computers, televisions and other electronic appliances from the homes, claiming they had been stolen from them. The Romani residents fled their homes prior to the attack.
Mayor Miguel Fernández Baena called on the residents to stop the violent attacks. "It is not possible to exercise the principle of an eye for an eye," he said, adding that all of the thefts had already been investigated and several people had already been arrested.
The Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported that police have arrested three members of a Romani family in connection with the thefts. Officers are also investigating Saturday's violence during the demonstration in an effort to identify the perpetrators of the attack on the Romani-occupied homes.
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