Italian mafia want to kill 'Gomorrah' author this year

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The Italian mafia wants to kill investigative author Roberto Saviano by Christmas for his expose Gomorrah, whose screen version won second prize at the Cannes film festival, a daily said Tuesday.

Saviano has been living in hiding and under 24-hour police protection since October 2006, when the first threats emerged, the ANSA news agency said.

A member turned informer of the Casalesi clan, one of the most violent among the Camorra mafia, told police this book has created a mess, while revealing plans to exterminate the author by this year s end, La Repubblica newspaper said.

It said the member revealed that the famed writer would be killed along with his escort guard as his book has created a great deal of noise, citing a transcript of a conversation he had with a police official on September 27.

Shot in flat realist style, the film Gomorrah is in the running for the Oscar awards after its Cannes triumph.

It follows a web of characters from teenaged gunmen to a Camorra cashier to a wealthy businessman behind illegal toxic waste-dumping schemes.

Two of the film s cast members, Bernardino Terracciano and Giovanni Venosa, who played godfathers in the movie, have been arrested in police raids since the film s launch.

The 29-year-old author has meanwhile put up a bold front.

What can I do? Just continue like before. I have no choice but to resist, resist, resist, said the best-selling Saviano, whose book has sold 1.2 million copies in Italy alone and has been translated in dozens of languages.

The Camorra mafia was in the spotlight recently following the killings of an Italian businessman and six African immigrants which prompted a police dragnet and sweeping arrests. -AFP

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