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Celtic fans stabbed in Rome ahead of Europa League match with Lazio

Two Celtic fans have been stabbed in Rome ahead of their team's Europa League fixture with Lazio, the Scottish team said

Celtic fans stabbed in Rome ahead of Europa League match with Lazio
Celtic fans ahead of the match with Lazio in Rome on November 7. Photo: AFP

In a statement on Thursday, Celtic said that the two supporters were “now in hospital and will receive every support from the club and the British consulate in Rome” after being attacked late on Wednesday night.

Italian media report that the fans were hurt in two separate incidents in the same central Rome neighbourhood, and that neither suffered life-threatening injuries.

READ ALSO: Anne Frank scandal part of Lazio fans' dark past

Around 9,000 Celtic fans are estimated to be travelling to the Italian capital to watch the Group E leaders potentially seal their place in the Europa League knockout stages, with a tense atmosphere expected between the two sets of supporters.

In Glasgow last month, some Lazio fans were filmed making fascist salutes before the two teams' previous encounter.

The home supporters then mocked the Italian club's notorious far-right 'ultras' with a banner depicting Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini hanging by his feet after being killed in 1945 with the message “Follow your leader”.

READ ALSO:

Visiting supporters in Rome have frequently been targeted by hardcore fans from the city's two clubs Roma and Lazio.

In 2013 two Roma fans were jailed for their part in a violent ambush on Tottenham Hotspur fans in the central Campo de Fiori district before Spurs' Europa League match with Lazio.

Around 50 far-right hooligans from both clubs orchestrated an attack that left one man stabbed and several others badly beaten.

The latest violent incident involving Lazio's fringe group of “ultra” supporters comes as other fans of the team pledged to change the negative “stereotype” they say surrounds the club at home and abroad.

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CRIME

 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

Italian police on Saturday arrested a mafia member suspected of killing two alleged Chinese prostitutes and a Colombian sex worker in Rome, local media reported.

 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

The bodies of the two Chinese women were discovered in a residential building in the upmarket Prati district on Thursday morning, while the body of the South American was found in an apartment in the same neighbourhood an hour later.

All three victims were stabbed, according to Italian media reports.

According to the Corriere della Sera newspaper, footage from surveillance cameras allowed police to identify 51-year-old Giandavide De Pau, who had been prosecuted in the past for drug trafficking and sexual assault.

The suspect is reportedly a member of a mafia clan headed by Michele Senese, who is currently serving a life sentence. De Pau is believed to have been one of Senese’s closest collaborators, acting as his personal driver and handyman.

In 2008 and 2011, the suspect had also spent time in a psychiatric hospital.

It is unknown whether the suspected killer was carrying out a mafia hit or acting alone, possibly under the influence of drugs, which were found at the home of some family members where he is believed to have sought refuge after the police manhunt got underway, Corriere della Sera reported.

Several newspapers had warned of a possible “serial killer” in the Italian capital.

The body of one of the Chinese victims was spotted by a neighbour where it lay, naked on a landing. The woman, believed to be in her 40s, had suffered head and stomach injuries, the newspaper said.

When police entered her apartment, they found the body of the second Chinese woman.

Nobody in the building appeared to have heard the murders take place, according to residents.

“Everybody knew there was a house of ill repute here, I’d see people arriving at 2:00 am, 3:00 am,” a woman who lived in the building told reporters.

The body of the Colombian, who was 65, was found by a friend, Corriere della Sera said.

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