Italian police are investigating a Somali asylum-seeker for attempted murder after he allegedly slashed two ticket controllers aboard a bus in the beach resort town of Rimini. He then wounded three other people, including a boy, as he fled.
Terrorism is not thought a motive. Investigators believe the 26-year-old man was under the influence of drugs during the knife attack Saturday night, according to reports on Italy’s state broadcaster RAI.
Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese said she would meet with local security officials on Monday in Rimini to review “the very grave episode.” Lamorgese has been under attack by right-wing leader Matteo Salvini, who heads the anti-migrant League party. Salvini has been demanding that Lamorgese crack down more heavily on illegal migration.
Slashed bus controllers
The man, who apparently didn’t have a bus ticket, slashed the controllers who had asked to see his ticket. The two women were wounded. When the bus driver opened the door, the attacker fled.
Whilst the police gave chase, the man allegedly slashed three more people in his way. They included a six-year-old boy who was sitting with his mother in a local outdoor market.
The boy is in critical condition. He underwent surgery on Sunday for his wounds, some of which were on his neck.
Police arrested the man after catching up with him on a side street.
Refused asylum in other European countries
The man has not been identified. Apparently, according to Corriere della Sera newspaper, he has been denied asylum in several European countries since 2015. These include Denmark, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands, since arriving in Europe in 2015,
State TV said the man had applied for asylum in Italy and was living in a migrant residence run by a Catholic charity in Rimini.