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Immigrant death sparks riot in Spanish beach city


ImmigrantsAfrican migrants rioted in a southern Spanish beach city on Friday, setting fire to garbage bins and cars, after a man from Guinea-Bissau was stabbed to death, local officials said.

Manolo Garcia, a city councillor in Roquetas del Mar in the province of Almeria, said the killing of the 41-year-old man in the city led to protests which descended into violence in the working class neighbourhood of Cortijos de Marin.

“Garbage bins are being burned, cars have been burned, windows have been shattered,” he told radio news station Cadena Ser.

Local online newspaper Ideal published a photo of a garbage container engulfed in flames in the middle of a street near a pharmacy as well as a video of man pushing a garbage container onto a burning car.

Police found the body of the man from Guinea-Bissau on a street in Roquetas del Mar in the early hours of Friday. Police suspect the man was stabbed following a dispute over a traffic accident, local media reported.

About 30-40 people had taken part in the unrest but police have since brought the situation under control, the assistant deputy of the national government in Almeria, Andres Garcia Lopez, told Cadena Ser.

“At this moment the situation is back to normal,” he said.

Police would remain at the scene throughout the night and for the next few days to prevent any renewal of unrest, he added.

No one was injured in the riot and no arrests were made, Lopez said.

The province of Almeria is home to a sea of plastic greenhouses that employ many migrants as vegetable and fruit labourers. It also relies on tourism but the jobless rate in the province stand at 31 percent, much higher than the already high national rate of 21 percent.

In 2008 African migrants in Roquetas del Mar set fire to cars and houses, and attacked police and firefighters with stones, after a 28-year-old Senegalese man was stabbed to death.

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