ROME (Reuters) - At least 30 people, including 20 policemen, were injured in the southern Italian city of Bari on Monday in clashes between immigrants seeking asylum and police, witnesses said.
Immigrants angry at delays in getting asylum set fire to trash cans and tyres early in the morning, and threw stones at police who intervened to break up the protest, witnesses said.
Some immigrants blocked a railway track, and others blocked traffic on a local highway.
Immigration, especially from Africa and Eastern Europe, is a sensitive issue in Italy and protests by immigrants kept in holding centres across the country occur sporadically.
Long-simmering tensions have risen to the fore in recent years after Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative government cracked down on illegal immmigration and tightened procedures for obtaining legal residence in the country.