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ROME (Reuters) - Police in Rome said on Thursday they had arrested 31 people on suspicion of mafia activity in Ostia, a seaside suburb that has been one of the hotspots in a major anti-mafia investigation in the Italian capital.

Thirty-one members and affiliates of a suspected clan allegedly run by the Spada family were picked up in raids starting at dawn in the Ostia coastal neighbourhood, a police official said, while one suspect remained at large.

Ostia was the only one of Rome's 15 districts to be put under direct government control because of alleged mafia infiltration after a wide-ranging investigation dubbed "Mafia Capital" led to dozens of arrests in 2014.

The spotlight returned to Ostia in November when Roberto Spada, gym owner and brother of a convicted mobster, was filmed headbutting a journalist who asked whether he supported a far-right group.

The city's mayor Virginia Raggi thanked police, prosecutors and the Interior Minister for the arrests, writing on Twitter:

"Rome gets a new lease of life with the operation against the Spada clan in Ostia ... Together we say no to criminality. #MafiaGetOutofRome."

(Reporting by Isla Binnie and Massimiliano Di Giorgio; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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Reuters