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Street clashes erupt in Madrid after street vendor’s death

The man reportedly died while trying to escape from a police crackdown.

Clashes in Madrid (AP/Alejandro Martinez Velez)
Clashes in Madrid (AP/Alejandro Martinez Velez)

Street clashes have erupted in central Madrid over the death of a 35-year-old African vendor who witnesses said died trying to escape from police cracking down on illegal street sales.

Hundreds of protesters burned plastic waste bins, blocking narrow streets in the Lavapies neighbourhood of the Spanish capital on Thursday night.

Migrants’ associations identified the man as Mbame Ndiaye, a Senegalese who had lived in Spain for 14 years and had not been granted residency.

A protester throws a rubbish bin at a burning barricade (AP/Alejandro Martinez Velez)

An Associated Press reporter saw protesters throw stones at dozens of riot police officers. They also set fire to the facade of a bank and broke glass partitions at a bus stop.

Madrid’s emergency services said 16 police officers and four civilians were treated for minor injuries.

Spanish news agency Europa Press quoted police as saying the vendor died of cardio-respiratory arrest while running from officers.

“I regret very much the death of a citizen in Lavapies,” Madrid mayor Manuela Carmena tweeted, adding that the municipal government would “investigate thoroughly what happened and act accordingly”.

A man injured lies on the ground during the clashes (AP/Alejandro Martinez Velez)

Doudou Diouf, who described himself as a friend of the dead man, said the vendor had applied unsuccessfully three times for legal residency.

“He was a good guy. He doesn’t deserve this,” Mr Diouf said.

One resident, who gave his name only as Marcos, told AP that earlier in the day he saw police on foot and on motorbikes pursuing a group of African street vendors.

He said the chase began in Madrid’s central Puerta del Sol square and headed towards Lavapies.

Press Association

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