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Suspects fire on Roma family with machine gun

UNKNOWN suspects allegedly fired 22 shots from a machine gun into the courtyard of a Roma family home in Horná Kráľová near Šaľa while shouting “dirty Gypsies come out” on July 31. Nobody was hurt during the attack on the Kotlár family. Police officials said they are not considering it a hate crime, but rather a case of causing damage to private property, according to the Sme daily.

UNKNOWN suspects allegedly fired 22 shots from a machine gun into the courtyard of a Roma family home in Horná Kráľová near Šaľa while shouting “dirty Gypsies come out” on July 31. Nobody was hurt during the attack on the Kotlár family. Police officials said they are not considering it a hate crime, but rather a case of causing damage to private property, according to the Sme daily.

“They came here with two cars. First, they shouted in front of the house, then broke the gate and entered the courtyard where they started to shoot,” one Kotlár family member, who declined to provide his name, told Sme.

Two generations of the family live in the house. Many of the residents hid under the beds during the attack, family members said.

Some reports are linking the incident to an earlier fight at a local pub over a broken glass, according to TV Markíza private broadcaster. One Kotlár family member also said the attack may be an attempt at revenge for the earlier incident in the nearby village of Pata, according to Sme.

“One man with a telescopic baton came to the pub [in Pata] and started to disperse us, and then the police came so we went to our cars and drove away,” he told to Sme. “And this was subsequent to the conflict.”

Kotlár family members claim that they know the suspects since they did not wear masks.

“It is a gang; they steal cars, sniff drugs and wanted to make themselves known,” said one young man.

The attackers are allegedly from the nearby village of Zemianske Sady. However, police would not confirm this information, Sme reported.

The suspects damaged a car, the gate and windows of the house and the crime scene technician recovered 22 cartridges from a type-58 machine gun, Božena Bruchterová, spokeswoman for the Nitra police, told the SITA newswire. Police are still investigating a motive, according to Sme.

Neighbours consider the Kotlár family to be mild-mannered, and say they have not caused any problems so far, Sme reported.

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