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UNHCR condemns Rome violence against refugees

13 November 2014, 13:00

Rome - The U.N. refugee agency has condemned days of violence by Rome residents directed at residents of a refugee center on the capital's outskirts.

The head of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in southern Europe, Laurens Jolles, says refugees and unaccompanied minors fleeing war and conflict deserve protection, respect and help integrating, not "unacceptable" acts of violence and intolerance.

The working-class neighborhood of Tor Sapienza has seen several nights of clashes this week by residents blaming foreigners for crimes. Italian commentators say at least some of the perpetrators are believed to be members of far-right groups — there have been chants of "Il Duce" in a reference to Italy's fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

In a statement, Jolles condemned "extremists" who are capitalizing on residents' fears to fuel conflict.

- AP


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