Italy may send extra troops to tackle Naples Mafia wars

ROME Fri Dec 7, 2012 1:48pm EST

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ROME (Reuters) - Italy's interior minister said on Friday she was considering beefing up the presence of troops in Naples to tackle a spree of mob violence after a man was shot dead in a city nursery school earlier this week.

During a visit to the nursery, Anna Maria Cancellieri said army back-up of the police had already been reinforced in recent months due to escalating gang warfare in the Scampia district of the city, a heartland of the Camorra, or Naples Mafia.

"The quantity of troops is extraordinary. We are thinking of intensifying the military presence even further," she told reporters.

Naples, the largest city in southern Italy, has long been synonymous with chronic crime, and the Camorra are known for thriving on drug trafficking and extortion. But the recent spree of public shootings has shocked authorities.

On Wednesday a 50-year-old man was chased into the courtyard of the nursery and shot dead by two men on a scooter while children were practicing Christmas carols inside the nursery.

The man had started dealing drugs for one criminal gang and drawn the wrath of a rival group, newspapers reported.

A day later a 40-year-old man with links to another clan was shot dead outside a Naples pizzeria in front of startled bystanders.

(Reporting By Catherine Hornby; Editing by Stephen Powell)

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