Dozens of immigrants from North Africa rioted during the night in a multi-ethnic neighbourhood in Milan, smashing shop windows, overturning cars to protest at the knifing death of an Egyptian, Italian police said.
The rioting began in the early evening after a 19-year-old Egyptian man, indentified by police as Hamed Mamoud El Fayed Adou, was killed, apparently by a group of immigrants from South America.
Police said the North Africans, most of them Egyptians, went on a rampage and some clashed with police in the neighbourhood where some 70 percent of shops are owned by immigrants.
A number of Egyptians were detained for questioning and police were still searching for the South Americans believed to have been responsible for the killing.
Police said most of the immigrants were in Italy legally. Nonetheless, the Northern League, an anti-immigrant party in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right coalition, called for the immigrants responsible for the violence to be expelled.
It was the second episode of violence involving immigrants this year.
In early January, riots broke out in southern Italy when immigrants burned cars and broke store windows to protest against an attack on African farm workers by a gang of local white youths.