msnbc.com news services
updated 1/14/2009 11:51:22 AM ET 2009-01-14T16:51:22

Italian police on Wednesday arrested a leader of the powerful Naples mafia who is suspected of ordering the killing in September of six African immigrants.

Investigators believe Giuseppe Setola is a boss of the Camorra, the mafia organization based in the southern Campania region around Naples featured in Roberto Saviano's best-selling book Gomorra.

Police said Setola, already sentenced to life in prison for murder, was seized in a hospital near the town of Caserta where he was being treated for injuries sustained during a daring escape from police on Monday, when he evaded capture by fleeing through the sewer network.

Silvio Berlusconi's government sent hundreds of troops to Campania after six men from Ghana, Togo and Liberia were shot dead in September in what was believed to be a show of strength by the Camorra to exert its control over drug and extortion rackets.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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