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Quiet Italy hamlets struggle with migrant 'human warehouses'

• http://www.france24.com, AFP

Inside vast white tents erected in a former military zone on the outskirts of the tiny village of Conetta, some 1,400 men from across Africa while away their days, packed onto endless rows of bunks as the temperatures rise.

Many escape for a few hours to cycle around the area: they are met with hostile banners calling for them to leave.

"I used to call this place a modern lager," Cona mayor Albero Panfilio told AFP, referring to concentration camps. The commune of Cona includes the little village of Conetta.

"After two years this is (still) a place where human beings are squashed in together, with no hope for the future.

"Now I call it a human warehouse. The migrants arrive, they don't know where to put them, they have a warehouse, they dump them here." The asylum seekers were treated "like garbage", he added.

Panfilio says the 190 residents in Conetta have also suffered. Among several protest messages scrawled on sheets and hung up in the village square, one reads simply "Repatriate the migrants".

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