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Honduran police arrest five after mob of 600 lynchings Italian man

TEGUCIGALPA July 9 (Reuters) – Honduran police on Friday arrested five suspects for their role in killing an Italian man who was lynched by a mob of more than 600 villagers in revenge for alleged murder of a homeless man, the government said.

Villagers on Thursday attacked 65-year-old Giorgio Scanu with stones, sticks and machetes at his residence in the town of Santa Ana de Yusguare in the southern Honduran department of Choluteca, the security ministry said.

The mob came after Scanu after he allegedly killed a 78-year-old homeless man on Wednesday for damaging ornamental plants in his garden, according to police reports based on complaints from local residents.

“More than 600 angry residents entered the residence and used sticks, stones and machetes to kill the Italian accused of killing Juan de Dios Flores,” said Rebeca Martinez, a spokeswoman for the security ministry.

Parts of Scanus’ residence and a vehicle were fired, Martinez added.

Police arrested five people aged 19 to 55 for the murder of Scanu, a retired engineer who had lived in rural areas and has two children and a wife living in Tegucigalpa, according to officials.

Authorities said they believe his family is Honduran.

Martinez said authorities were searching for others involved in Scanus’ lynching and that police were present at the time but could not stop it due to the size of the mob.

Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Sandra Maler

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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