FURIOUS migrants clashed with police and staged chaotic protest in front of the local government’s office after a refugee died overnight in a fire.
Dozens of migrants staged a protest on Saturday outside local government offices after the death of a refugee, which they blame on authorities.
The violent skirmishes saw the migrants attempt to storm Florence’s local government prefecture building by force.
However, riot police held the migrants back while scuffles continued for several hours.
After the migrants failed to break into the local government offices, they staged a sit-in.
They chanted ‘shame’ and showed banners reading it was the state’s fault that the migrant had died during an overnight fire.
Some protesters lay down in the road, bringing traffic to a halt while others tried to storm an art exhibition hall.
The protest came after Ali Muse, a 44-year-old migrant, died from severe burns in a fire at an abandoned plant used as a makeshift shelter by 80 African asylum seekers.
According to witnesses, Muse was able to get out of the building when the blaze first erupted but returned to get documents that would enable family members to join him in Italy.
One of the Somali migrants, Mohamed Ali, said: “Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to get out, probably because his room was one of the most distant from the door.”
Investigators believe the fire could have been caused by the migrants’ attempt to warm up in sub-freezing temperatures.
By the evening, the mayor of Sesto Florence intervened and said that officials would search for new accomodation for the migrants.
He also confirmed the local authorities would finance a dignified funeral for the migrant who died.
However, the mayor also pleaded for other Italian cities to “help us” amid the growing migrant crisis.