Five people were nabbed Wednesday after he Palermo provincial secretary of the far-right Forza Nuova (FN) group was tied up and bloodily beaten by persons wearing ski masks or with their heads wrapped in scarves in Palermo’s central Via Dante Tuesday night.
Five ‘antagonists’ – anticapitalist and anarchist or leftist youth squatters – including university students were reported to have been taken to a police station on Wednesday.
Italy’s DIGOS special security police was said to be weighing two arrests in the case, sources said.
They said CCTV cameras had established that eight people were involved in the attack. Prosecutors are investigating on suspicion of attempted murder, judicial sources said. The FN provincial chief, tattoo salon owner Massimo Ursino, was surrounded, tied hand and foot with duct tape and brutally beaten, sources said. Ursino suffered bruising to the face and the whole of his body, a broken nose, and a suspected shoulder lesion, medical sources said. He was taken to the ER where doctors said his injuries would heal in 20 days.
FN leader Roberto Fiore said “after a campaign of hatred sown by the (newspaper) Espresso group and followed by all the left including the Free and Equal (LeU) party, Communist hatred is unleashed against Forza Nuova”.
“A Forza Nuova official was struck at his workplace, tied up and brutally beaten, in a cowardly way, in 10 against one”.
The attack, which was condemned by all political parties, was claimed by an unnamed lefist group which said it “repudiated Fascism” and that Ursino had been given an “exemplary” beating a few days ahead of a rally in Palermo by Fiore.
It said Italy was threatened by the “rise” of racist and neo-Fascist groups.