Italian police say they’ll investigate a possible mafia connection to a bombing outside a girls’ high school.
A 16-year-old girl died and six others were injured in the explosion in the southern city of Brindisi. Two of the wounded are in a critical condition.
The blast happened as the teenagers were going into school for Saturday lessons.
One eyewitness described how many of the girls fell to the ground: “The other girl got up and started shouting ‘Melissa, Melissa, Melissa’ as she suddenly realised that the young friend next to her had not survived.”
The school is named after the wife of famous anti-Mafia judge Giovanna Falcone, who was murdered in Sicily exactly 20 years ago this coming Wednesday.
Brindisi is home to a mafia clan which is known for extortion but rarely carries out violence in public.
The town’s mayor Mimmo Consales said the bombing was a tragedy: “This happened just a few days before the anniversary of those killings and around a demonstration and meeting of anti-mafia activists in this region. We can all understand exactly what these events may signify. But at the moment our main concern is the condition of the youngsters.”
No group has claimed responsibility for the blast.
A rally was due to be held on Saturday evening to pay tribute to the victims.