Madrid in flames: Spanish capital district of Lavapies still in chaos as protests continue

At the centre of the Spanish crisis is the capital’s district of Lavapies, where the biggest African community lives in Madrid.

Protests turned into carnage as hundreds of people started smashing shop windows and setting fire to bins, paralysing the entire neighbourhood.

According to Spanish police, 16 policemen and four civilians have been taken to hospital after being injured in the clash.

A spokesman for the Senegalese officials in Spain said the Senegalese community takes its distance from the violence battering the streets of Madrid, blaming “radical protesters”.

He said: “It’s not Senegalese people who are causing disruption and damages to the community.

“Groups of radical protesters joined the protests yesterday and despite trying to stop them we couldn’t placate the chaos once it had spread.”

The protests began on Thursday following the death of 35-year-old street hawker Mame Mbaye, who died on Thursday after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Witnesses claim the Senegalese street vendor died after being pursued by police on motorbikes but Madrid sources told El Pais there was no police chase.

The street vendor died just before 5pm at No. 10, Calle del Oso.

An emergency services call was made by local police officers in the area and according to the official police report, the officers had found a man lying on the ground not breathing.

The local police officers reportedly attempted to resuscitate Mr Mbaye until emergency services arrived at the scene.

Madrid Mayor Manuela Carmena insisted there will be an investigation into the incident.

General director of the Police Germán López Iglesias also claimed radicals “could have taken advantage” of the protests.

He said: “These are unpleasant events and in Spain, we are not used to riots happening so suddenly.

“Everything started with an initial incident and I do not know if anyone has taken advantage of this event.”

Spanish National Police are investigating the origin of the riots, according to police sources.