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'Mafia chief' hangs himself after arrest

An alleged Mafia boss hanged himself in jail, hours after being arrested in a police swoop, officials in Sicily said today.

Authorities had ordered the sweeping raids to prevent what they said were mob efforts to rebuild Cosa Nostra. Some 90 suspects were arrested in the blitz.

Paramilitary police in Palermo said Gaetano Lo Presti's suicide in jail last night is under investigation.

Police said in a statement today that he was arrested because he allegedly headed a Mafia clan in the city's Porta Nuova district.

The capture of top fugitives in recent years has weakened Cosa Nostra.

Authorities said they ordered yesterday's raids to head off a bloody power struggle among rival mob bosses to rebuild the crime syndicate.