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Naples residents attack firemen extinguishing blazing garbage

ROME, May 17 (RIA Novosti) - Angry residents of the Italian city of Naples have thrown stones at firemen extinguishing mounds of blazing garbage in city dumps, the Italian news agency ANSA reported on Saturday.

The ongoing garbage crisis struck Naples and the surrounding Campania region last year after garbage collectors stopped collecting waste as dumps were full and there was nowhere to take it.

Local officials announced plans to open new dumps, but locals objected, saying they would be harmful for both their health and local agriculture. They demanded instead that the rubbish be removed from existing dumps.

There are currently some five tons of uncollected garbage in the city dumps. Blazes are common, as furious residents set fire to the rubbish, and a local fireman told ANSA that, "If the fires continue at this rate, we just won't be able to put them all out."

The last 24 hours have seen some 100 fires at dumps in Naples and the surrounding area.

The region has been plagued by similar incidents for more than a decade. Officials say local bureaucrats and organized crime groups, which make money by disposing of waste in illegal dumps, are responsible as they have an interest in making sure that the 'garbage problem' is not solved.

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