Palermo sighs in relief after Mafia boss arrest but prosecutors warn fight is not over

An outpouring of relief in Palermo after the arrest of Italy's most wanted alleged Mafia boss. But Italian prosecutors are warning that the fight against organised crime is far from over.

His 30 years of evading justice came to a dramatic end on Monday in the Sicilian city where he had been leading a hidden life.

Palermo chief prosecutor Maurizio De Lucia said the arrest was a partial repayement of "a debt" the Italian Republic had with Matteo Messina Denaro's victims.

Messina Denaro was seized at a clinic in Palermo where he had been receiving regular treatment. It came after lengthy surveillance operation.

The 60-year-old had been convicted of masterminding dozens of murders in absentia, including those of two anti-mafia prosecutors.

His arrest is the culmination of a decades-long crackdown on the Sicilian Mafia, which has left it severely weakened. But it still runs drug trafficking and extortion operations.

And Southern Italy remains menaced by other crime gangs, including the 'Ndrangheta, whose influence is said to have risen as their rivals' decline.

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