Murder sparks riot in Roquetas de Mar

African immigrants demand justice in tense stand-off with gypsy community

The Guardia Civil have maintained a large presence in the affected suburbs since last week’s riot following the fatal stabbing of a 41-year-old African immigrant (Photo: EFE)

By Richard Torné

The seaside town of Roquetas de Mar has been left reeling by rioters following the fatal stabbing of an African man in an apparent road rage incident on Christmas Day.

The attack happened in the early hours of the morning when the victim, a Roquetas resident identified as a 41-year-old immigrant from Guinea-Bissau, was stabbed as he confronted the occupants of a car who had deliberately blocked a road to traffic.

The men – allegedly gypsies – fled the scene after the murder.

The death coupled with the news that no arrests had been made provoked an angry response from the local African community as they set alight rubbish containers and threw stones at shop windows and passing vehicles. Firemen reportedly requested police protection to put out the fires.

More than 40 Guardia agents in full riot gear were initially drafted from Aguadulce, Roquetas de Mar and El Ejido, but the number  swelled to about 100 later in the day when more than 200 immigrants gathered outside the home of the alleged culprit in the neighbourhood of Cortijos de Marin.

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