London: Sicily's notorious criminal syndicate Cosa Nostra has reportedly declared war on refugees as the mayor of the Italian city claims that the Sicilian capital “feels more like Istanbul or Beirut than Europe”.
The development comes as a thousand of new arrivals pour on to the island every week, MailOnline reported.
According to Mail, Cosa Nostra is desperate to maintain supremacy after the African crime gangs, which arrived with the migrants, are engaged in a deadly turf war.
The situation has turned tense after a Gambian man was shot dead by an assassin in broad daylight sparking fears of a wider bloodbath.
“Palermo is no longer an Italian town. It is no longer European. You can walk in the city and feel like you’re in Istanbul or Beirut,” Mayor Leoluca Orlando told MailOnline.
The Mail said that immigration to Italy soared by 90 percent in the first three months of the year. There is a widespread concern that the number of new migrants exceeds the country’s capacity to cope.
“In the past, when the Mafia was more powerful, it prevented any immigrants from entering the city. Until I was 30 years old, I never saw an African or Asian in Palermo,” the Mail quoted Palermo mayor Leoluca Orlando as saying.
“The Mafia has not understood that the city has changed. We are now a city of immigrants, and the Mafia bosses no longer sit in the mayor’s chair,” he added.