An African immigrant from Senegal who had been given a job as a school bus driver outside the northern Italian city of Milan today attempted to murder the 51 Italian school children in the bus by setting it on fire – in a protest, he said, against the Africans drowning in the Mediterranean Sea.
(The New Observer)
According to a report in the il Ffatto Quotidiano newspaper, the African, named as Ousseynou Sy, announced that he “wanted to end the deaths in the Meditteranean.”
“‘Stop the deaths at sea, I’ll carry out a massacre’,” police spokesman Marco Palmieri quoted the driver as saying after his arrest.
The drama started when the children, on their way from the Vailati middle school at Crema to a local gym, called the police on their cell phones after the African began sprinkling gasoline all over the bus and on some of the children.
The police then set up some checkpoints along the route that Sy was following, but the invader refused to stop and rammed a three other cars.
Once he could proceed no further, he set fire to the bus, and attempted to set fire to the children closest to him.
In the interim, soldiers and police managed to break the windows and the rear door of the bus, and succeeded in evacuating all the children, who were accompanied by two teachers.
Police confirmed that Sy had two previous arrests, including one for sexual violence, and another for driving under the influence of alcohol, and could not explain how the African had obtained a job working as a bus driver for school children.
“It was a miracle, it could have been a massacre,” the chief prosecutor of Milan, Francesco Greco told the newspaper.
He confirmed that charges were being laid for attempted murder, kidnapping and terrorism. Sy is in custody suffering from burns.
Videos have emerged showing the last stage of the attack, where Sy rammed the parked vehicles at the police road block and the children fleeing after being rescued.
Sy, who has had Italian citizenship since 2004, is in custody suffering from burns.
* In another development, Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini ordered the fake charity invader taxi ship, the Mare Jonio, seized and its crew prosecuted for human smuggling and aiding illegal immigration.
The ship, which had earlier picked up 49 African invaders off the coast of Libya despite being told not to by the Libyan Coast Guard, had thrown anchor off the island of Lampudesa, and the seizure of the boat and the prosecutions were announced after the boat was allowed to dock and the invaders taken away for deportation hearings.