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  1. ITV Report

Far-right sympathiser held over drive-by shooting in Italy 'targeting black migrants'

A far-right sympathiser has been arrested over a drive-by shooting apparently targeting black migrants in the central Italian city of Macerata.

Luca Traini, 28, was held after the attacks that left at least six wounded and one person fighting for life.

He stood in a local election last year under the banner of the anti-migrant Northern League party, but failed to win election.

Local media quoted friends as saying he was also linked with Italian extremist parties like the neo-fascist Forza Nuova and Casa Pound.

It is thought the attacks may have been in retaliation for a recent murder of a white woman in the city. The chief suspect in that case is a Nigerian immigrant.

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni has spoken out to say "hatred and violence will not succeed in dividing us" amid a wave of revulsion at the seemingly racially-motivated attacks.

There are suggestions the attack may have been a racist response to a recent murder. Credit: ITV News

Schools were put into lockdown, public transport closed down, and residents warned to stay inside after shots were fired in the city centre from a dark-coloured car on Saturday morning.

Traini was arrested in the city centre after reportedly fleeing his vehicle and trying to escape on foot.

A video posted by the il Resto diCarlino newspaper later showed the suspect with an Italian flag draped over his shoulders as he was detained. There were also reports that he did an fascist salute.

Italian news reports said a gun was found inside the car linked to the attack.

One of the victims is treated after the shootings. Credit: AP

Macerata's mayor Romano Carancini acknowledged the shooting appears to be linked to the recent murder of 18-year-old Pamela Mastropietro, whose dismembered body was found inside a suitcase.

"The closeness of the two events makes you imagine there could be a connection," he told reporters.

Mr Gentiloni today warned that Italy would be "particularly severe against whoever thinks of nourishing this spiral of violence."

"We will stop this risk. We will stop it right away. We will stop it together," he said.

The attacks also comes amid a heated election campaign in which some parties have played on anti-foreigner sentiment kindles by Europe's migrant crisis.