Minniti in Bari after Mob shooting of elderly woman (2)

84-year-old died while crossing road

(ANSA) - Bari, January 2 - Interior Minister Marco Minniti travelled to Bari on Tuesday to chair a meeting of the committee for order and public safety convened after an ambush in Bitonto involving members of a local crime syndicate on Saturday left an 84-year-old woman dead. Anna Rosa Tarantino died while crossing a road in the town centre.
    20-year-old Giuseppe Casadibari, a convicted criminal, also sustained injuries.
    He is thought by investigators to have been the real target of the attack. According to unconfirmed reports, he used Tarantino as a human shield during the attempted hit.
    Minniti on Tuesday called the woman's slaying "unacceptable".
    "A response is urgent," he said after chairing the public-order meeting.
    Minniti said "we have decided to act on a triple level: "Identifying and arresting the members of the two rival groups; facing in a structured way, with medium-term investigative activity, organised crime in the area; and drafting an extraordinary plan to control the territory".
    Bari Mayor Antonio Decaro said "these cowards struck a symbol".
    "We will react to this vile attack," he told reporters after the meeting with Minniti.
    The shooting is to be seen in the context of a turf war between rival clans for control of the local drugs trade. It may have been a reprisal for an earlier shooting outside the home of a local mobster on the outskirts of the city, investigators say. Tarantino's funeral was due to be celebrated on Tuesday, with local officials in attendance. A candlelit march and ceremony will also be staged in remembrance of her.
    "We will never give in to the folly of violence that destroys the joy of life and which has here struck down an innocent victim," said Msgr Alberto D'Urso at the funeral homily.
    The faithful issued a message urging the killers "to understand the gravity of their actions, repent and demonstrate that with concrete gestures". Tarantino's niece said "Auntie Anna was barbarously killed by the blind evil of men.
    "We'll never forget you and we hope the whole city doesn't either". Bitonto Mayor Michele Abbaticchio said he was "sure" the police would find the guilty men and voiced the hope that Tarantino "Anna Rosa, a seamstress of fabric and human relations, will hep us stitch back together our community which has been torn apart and tested by this sense of rage and pain".
    The Puglia mafia, the Sacra Corona Unita (United Holy Crown, SCU), is the fourth and smallest of Italy's four mafias.
    The other three are 'Ndrangheta from Calabria, Cosa Nostra from Sicily and the Camorra from Naples.