Apulian mobsters, bystanders slain in quadruple murder
FOGGIA- Suspected mafia boss Mario Luciano Romito and his brother-in-law where shot dead in Lamis, Apulia, along with two innocent bystanders were also murdered who were witnesses to the crime, local police have reported.
The assassination was carried out on Wednesday morning in broad daylight on a street near to the San Marco Station in Lamis, near to town of Foggia in northern Apulia. Romito was driving with his brother-in-law when he was flanked by a car with four or five people on board who opened fire on the two men.
Romito was a key regional mafia figure with his own clan in Manfedonia who was released from prison only six days prior to the murder. His brother-in-law Matteo Di Palma was killed alongside him. Romito's family-run mafia clan has been in a war with another local mafia clan, Libergolis, for the past thirty years.
The other two victims were farmers without any criminal record: brothers Luigi and Aurelio Luciani. They would have been eyewitnesses to the crime and were chased in the nearby fields before being gunned down.
Three victims died on the spot and one farmer died on the route to San Severo hospital.
The incident reignites concerns over the increasingly violent tactics used by the mafia clan of the Sacra Corona Unita, the Apulian mafia. It constitutes one of the many ambushes in the regional mafia war that have taken place between Capitanata and Gargano since the beginning of the year, accumulating in 17 murders. The violence has escalated significantly over recent months; there have been eight related mafia murders since June 8 and August 9.
On Tuesday morning, the day before, another well-known figure in Apulian organised crime Girolamo Valente was murdered in a drive-by shooting with his wife in the town of Bisceglie, north of Bari. Before that, on July 27, a man linked to a criminal organisation in Gargano was assasinated whilst eating lunch in Vieste, also in Foggiano. He was murdered in the seat of his commercial business infront of his family and tourists.
"[Wednesday's murder] is a horrible incident... in the last few months there have been many incidents that our Province has been caught up in," the Mayor of San Marco in Lamis Michele Merla. "We need government intervention..." he added, "we can no longer be subject to this brutality."
Minister of the Interior Marco Minniti will chair a meeting for the National Council for Public Order and Safety in the prefecture of Foggia and will meet, as well as the town's Mayor, those involved in the mafia war that is ravaging Apulia.