Riots in Roquetas

Roquetas del Mar suffered a night of near rioting as roving groups of gitanos and marroquies (Gypsies and North Africans) clashed with police and firemen after a fight between two groups got out of hand.

It appears that a gitano stabbed a marroqui in a fight – the marroqui died of the wound before getting to hospital. In an apparent revenge attack, a group of his friends proceeded to torch the gitanos house, and the neighbours, before proceeding to attack a group of gitanos who came to put the fire out.

As the first fire and police units on the scene were greeted with a volley of stones and improvised missles, they withdrew and called in riot police. This set the scene for an evening of running battles between the Police, the marroquis and the gypsies.

4 people have been arrested for causing the fires. The supposed murderer is still at large but being hunted by the Guardia Civil. Extra Police units are patrolling the affected areas (around the area known as “200 Viviendas”) in order to prevent more trouble breaking out.

Local authorities will be anxious to prevent riots on the same scale as in El Ejido in 2000, which started after a marroqui killed a Spanish woman – this lead to several days of full scale rioting and international attention.

A young Marroqui was also knifed in an attack in Alicante city – he too died before receiving medical attention.

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