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Unrest flares in Barcelona after Senegalese man is shot dead

African residents protest over death of compatriot during soccer match argument; four men arrested in connection with crime

The death of a 32-year-old Senegalese man in Barcelona has lit the touchpaper of simmering ethnic conflict in the Besòs neighborhood of the Catalan capital. The victim, Ibrahima Dyei, died after being shot during an argument over a game of soccer. Four men of Gypsy origin, a father and his three sons, have been arrested over the shooting, which has awoken the latent anger of the Senegalese community, which still has similar race-related incidents involving Gypsies and African immigrants in Italy, Almería and Palma de Mallorca fresh in its minds.

There is no accurate gauge for the sudden eruption of unrest, which saw 150 people congregate at the scene of the crime and a small fire ignited at the home of the arrested men, but there is a common underlying opinion: a total lack of trust in the justice system and the feeling that the killing of an African would go unpunished. And the result is in little doubt.

"If there is no justice, there will be revenge," said one man. "We're not going to leave this alone. The same thing has happened in Italy, in Almería... We won't take any more."

The police chief in Barcelona, Joan Carlos Molinero, said that between them, the detained men had accumulated 60 arrests for robbery, selling drugs and fighting. "They had the residents terrified," said a Pakistani man who lived near the accused. "Everybody is scared of them."