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Tension after Turin Roma camp torched over false rape claim

Teenager apologies for violence caused by fabricated story

12 December, 11:52
Tension after Turin Roma camp torched over false rape claim (ANSA) - Turin, December 12 - There was tension in Turin on Monday after a Roma gypsy camp on the outskirts of the city was torched by youths at the weekend following a false rape claim by a 16-year-old.

The girl admitted on Sunday that she had fabricated the story of being raped by two Roma men.

She said she had done so to avoid being hit by her family after her brother ran into her by chance and saw her clothing stained by blood after a consensual sexual encounter.

''I saw the images of the gypsy camp in flames and I felt ill,'' the girl said in a letter of apology published in Italian newspapers on Monday.

''I'm dead ashamed. Only now do I realise what has happened. I made up that story... At the time I didn't think about the consequences''.

Turin prosecutor Giancarlo Caselli said the violence that took place on Saturday was ''a grave offence with clear racist connotations''.

Interior Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri also condemned the raid.

''Nothing can justify acts like this, not anger, marginalisation or prejudice,'' Cancellieri said.

Police are working to track down the perpetrators.

According to some media reports, Roma groups are considering revenge attacks.

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