Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Air Algerie investigation continues

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

UNRWA official breaks down over Gaza deaths

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

FOCUS

Constitution prohibits Aung San Suu Kyi to run for president

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

War and Markets, with Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank

Read more

  • Kerry, Ban announce 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

    Read more

  • 24 killed¸ 271 injured in South Taiwan gas blast

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

  • Investigators reach MH17 site amid 24-hour ceasefire

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay further €1.9 billion to Yukos shareholders

    Read more

  • Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

Europe

Lone bomber attacked Italian school, prosecutor says

Video by Nicholas RUSHWORTH

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-05-20

The chief prosecutor investigating a bombing at a high school in Italy's southern city of Brindisi said on Sunday that it is believed the attack, which left a 16 year-old student dead and several others injured, was committed by a single person.

REUTERS - The bomb attack which killed a teenaged girl and wounded 10 others in the southern Italian town of Brindisi was probably done by an individual with no links to the mafia, a senior official said on Sunday.

The attack on the Francesca Morvillo Falcone school, a vocational training institute offering courses in fashion, tourism and social services, has horrified Italy.

Thousands have taken to the streets in demonstrations of sympathy for the school and the family of Melissa Bassi, the teenager who died in the explosion.

“It seems to be the work of a single person,” Marco Dinapoli, the Brindisi chief prosecutor who is leading the investigation, told reporters on Sunday. He said police already had an identikit of the suspect.

“The most probable hypothesis is that it was an isolated act,” he said, but refused to give details about the person believed to have carried out the attack.

“At the moment, we don’t understand what the motivation for this massacre might be,” Dinapoli said, adding that no claim of responsibility had been received.

Early suspicions pointed at organised crime, largely because the school was named after the wife of murdered anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone and the attack took place days before the 20th anniversary of the couple’s death in a bomb attack in Sicily.

However, as the investigation has proceeded, the idea that either the Sicilian mafia or the local version known as the United Sacred Crown, might mount such a high profile attack has appeared increasingly unlikely.

“It seems improbable, not entirely to be excluded but improbable, that it is connected with mafia networks,” he said, adding that repeat attacks on other schools appeared unlikely.

Dinapoli said investigators had acquired “significant” video evidence which suggested that one man had set off the device, which exploded as pupils at the school were getting off a bus and arriving for the start of lessons on Saturday morning.

He declined to describe the video evidence but said it showed a single individual activating a remote control of some kind to detonate a rudimentary bomb made up of three gas canisters hidden in a container outside the school gates.

Mourning

In Brindisi, a quiet port town on Italy’s Adriatic coast, there was a palpable feeling of shock, with businesses throughout the town carrying signs of mourning and anti-mafia messages still visible from a demonstration on Saturday.

Another girl, Veronica Capodieci, has been transferred to a hospital in the larger city of Lecce. She is still in serious condition, but the hospital reported on Sunday that she was stable, had regained consciousness, and was alert.

Whoever was behind it, the deadly attack on a school was a potent symbol for an ageing country grappling with economic decline and struggling to regain confidence in its future.

“What a terrible thing for that poor girl’s family,” said 63-year-old Donatella Rosario, sitting on a bench in the early morning sunshine. “You send your child to school and it’s supposed to be safe. How can you live in a country where they kill our children?”

On Sunday, the pope added his commiserations to messages of sympathy from leaders including French President Francois Hollande, saying he was praying for “Melissa, the innocent victim of brutal violence and her family”.

Italy’s collective nerves were already on edge after a series of attacks on public institutions, including the main tax and debt collection agency which prompted Interior Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri to step up security at a series of key sites.

As the economic crisis has hit hard, most visibly through a series of high-profile suicides of struggling small businessmen, there have been fears of a return to the kind of violence seen during the 1970s “Years of Lead”.

As well as the attacks on tax agency Equitalia, an anarchist group claimed responsibility for shooting the chief executive of nuclear engineering group Ansaldo Nucleare in the leg earlier this month.

 

Date created : 2012-05-20

  • ITALY

    Deadly blast hits high school in southern Italy

    Read more

COMMENT(S)