An Italian gang of local white youths attacked African farm workers, triggering a protest by immigrants in southern Italy on Thursday, police said.
Local white youths in a car fired air rifles at a group of African immigrants returning from work on farms, injuring several of them earlier in the day.
Immigrants work in the area as day labourers picking fruit and vegetables. The conditions on farms in southern Italy are notoriously poor, with immigrant workers often being housed in barracks without electricity and running water.
Television footage from the town of Rosarno, in the Calabria region, showed dozens of Africans smashing car windows with steel bars and stones and setting cars and rubbish bins on fire.
Scuffles have broken out between Italian police and hundreds of immigrant workers in the southern city of Rosarno.
Some shouted "we are not animals" and carried signs reading "Italians here are racist".
Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Ocak 2010, 17:26
A number of the demonstrators suffered minor injuries and police made several arrests, ANSA reported.