28 Jul 2013

Bananas thrown at cabinet minister in Italy

11:18 am on 28 July 2013

A spectator threw bananas at Italy's first black minister while she was making a speech on Friday.

Integration minister Cecile Kyenge, who is originally from Democratic Republic of Congo, was at a political rally in Cervia in central Italy on Friday, when the incident occurred.

The BBC reports the bananas missed. Police said they were trying to find the culprit.

Ms Kyenge has faced almost daily racial slurs and threats since joining the government.

Earlier this month, a senator from the Northern League party likened her to an orangutan.

Last month, a Northern League councillor said Ms Kyenge should be raped so she understands how victims of crimes committed by immigrants feel.

Responding on Twitter, Ms Kyenge called the incident "sad" and "a waste of food".

The BBC reports other politicians rallied behind her on Saturday with messages of support and condemnation.