Four Egyptian youngsters were assaulted Monday by five Italian thugs with baseball bats on their way back to their residence on the island of Sicily in Italy.
The Egyptian Consulate in Italy will follow up with the victims, according to a statement released by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Preliminary investigations have ruled out any discriminatory motives behind the incident, and the reasons behind the assault remain unclear. However, several media outlets reported that the assault came after the Egyptians witnessed the Italians in possession of a gun, which is illegal in Italy.
Conversely, the organiser of Egyptian Diaspora Affairs in Italy, Mahmoud Awad, told Daily News Egypt that, as the Egyptian minors live in a city full of illegal immigrants, this may in fact have had something to do with why they were attacked. Though the details are still vague, footage of the incident was revealed showing the Italians saying: “Get out of here.”
He added that one of the Egyptians has severe injuries and is in critical condition; however, the other three are “somewhat fine”. Awad said that three out of the five Italians were arrested.
Egyptian-Italian bilateral relations have been fraught with tension over the past few months, following the still unsolved murder of Italian PhD candidate Giulio Regeni in Egypt.