Three held for attacking Asian food outlet in Italy


Rome : Three youths who allegedly attacked Bangladeshi immigrants at their takeaway food outlet in Rome have been arrested.

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The youths are reported to have beaten three immigrants with iron bars and stolen hundreds of euros in cash during the attack.

The youths have been accused of robbery and physical assault, aggravated by racist motives. Two of the three people arrested were minors and one is 18-years-old.

The attack, which took place in the relatively prosperous suburb of Magliana, is the latest in a series of violent attacks against immigrants in Rome and other Italian cities that have drawn condemnation from politicians across the political spectrum.

The arrested youths allegedly belong to a gang responsible for vandalism, other attacks and insulting other immigrants in the area.

“There are too many young people in Rome, as in all the major western cities who vent their frustrations in violence and intolerance,” said Rome’s conservative mayor Gianni Alemanno.

“The growth of juvenile violence and intolerant gangs of intolerant thugs whose behaviour often borders on xenophobic.”

Alemanno was speaking Tuesday after a meeting to discuss security in Magliana and other neighbourhoods with the Italian interior ministry’s top official in Rome, Giuseppe Pecoraro, following the attack.

Alemanno said he intended to launch a major new law and order campaign in April, after the regional elections.

“This will build up existing initiatives in Rome’s suburbs to educate people to be law-abiding and tolerant, especially young people,” he said.

The Rome mayor was speaking about violence after his own son, 15-year-old Manfredi and a 16-year-old friend were attacked by a gang of youths allegedly from the Cape Verde islands and the Philippines in the upscale Parioli neighbourhood Monday.

Sunday’s Magliana attack was thought to be a reprisal for a dispute between a Bangladeshi street hawker and one of the three youths who was arrested, according to police.

Centre-left opposition politicians and Bangladeshi residents held a sit-in Magliana Monday to protest against “racist intimidation that has been going on for a long time”.

“I and other Bangladeshis have been being intimidated” said the takeaway’s owner, Mohamed Masumia.