Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Homegrown Jihadists: France Sets Out Plan to Monitor Web and Support Families (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Homegrown Jihadists: France Sets Out Plan to Monitor Web and Support Families

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ukrainians turn Russian 'evidence' into meme

Read more

FOCUS

Copenhagen seeks to decriminalise use of cannabis

Read more

FACE-OFF

French president's advisor resigns: A new blow for François Hollande

Read more

ENCORE!

Films as plays, plays as films and TV at the cinema

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Syria: Former hostages recount 10-month ordeal

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

José Bové, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, Group of the Greens

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Alexis Tsipras, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, European Left Party

Read more

  • Fatah, Hamas agree to form Palestinian unity government

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Colombian president reinstates firebrand Bogota mayor

    Read more

  • NYPD public relations campaign on Twitter goes awry

    Read more

  • Russia vows to respond if 'attacked' in Ukraine

    Read more

  • In pictures: Violent protests erupt in Rio

    Read more

  • French hostage Gilberto Rodrigues Leal has died, Islamists say

    Read more

  • 'Pope-mania' hits John Paul II's Polish hometown

    Read more

  • French actress Catherine Deneuve to sell €4 million château

    Read more

  • Chelsea, Atletico draw 0-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch offensive in the east after politican 'tortured'

    Read more

  • Echoes of 2pac and Biggie? French rap feud turns violent

    Read more

  • New French film tackles grisly anti-Semitic murder

    Read more

  • Photos link ‘little green men’ in Ukraine to Russian troops

    Read more

  • New anti-radicalisation plans aimed at fighting jihadism

    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

Comments

COMMENT(S)