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CRIME

Italy condemns ‘cowardly’ knife attack in French city of Nice

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte condemned the attack that left three dead at a church in the southern French city of Nice on Thursday morning.

Italy condemns 'cowardly' knife attack in French city of Nice
French police and firefighters secure the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice following the attack on Thursday morning. Photo: AFP
“The cowardly attack… will not shake the common front defending the values of freedom and peace,” Conte posted on Twitter.
 
“Our convictions are stronger than fanaticism, hatred and terror.”
 
 
Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio also condemned the attack and voiced support for France.
 
“Italy expresses profound condolences for the barbarous Nice attack,” Di Maio tweeted. “We are close to the French people and to the pain of the families of the victims.”
 
“Italy repudiates all forms of extremism and remains at France's side in the fight against terrorism and all violent radicalism”.
 

French terrorism prosecutors opened an investigation after the attack at a church in the southern French city of Nice left at least three dead and several people injured.

 
 
The attack took place at the Notre-Dame church in the southern city of Nice around 9am on Thursday morning.
 
Local police detained the suspected attacker quickly after the event, Mayor Christian Estrosi said.
 
French terror prosecutors later confirmed that a terror probe had been opened following the knife attack.

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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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