An operation by the Italian state police in Rimini. Credit: ANSA/MASSIMO PERCOSSI
An operation by the Italian state police in Rimini. Credit: ANSA/MASSIMO PERCOSSI

A migrant reception center in Rimini was targeted last week in attacks with a Molotov and a paper bomb. Investigations are underway to determine those responsible.

A paper bomb was launched at a migrant reception center in Spadarolo, near Rimini, during the night between October 31 and November 1. It was the second time in the span of days that the reception center had been the target of an attack. 

Three nights prior, someone had thrown two rudimentary Molotov at the center's fence and wall. The center is hosting about 15 people, 13 migrants and two workers from Cento Fiori, the social cooperative that manages it. 

Investigations underway 

Local Carabinieri police are investigating the two episodes and the Rimini prosecutor's office has also opened a case. Investigators have not ruled out the possibility that the same people may have been responsible for both attacks. They are working to determine whether the episodes were racially motivated or directly against one or more of the center's guests. 

Another hypothesis is that the episode may have been a bad Halloween joke. The paper bomb was thrown at 2 a.m. when all the center's guests were inside sleeping. The loud explosion sparked fear but no one was injured and the structure was only minimally damaged. Reactions to the episode were swift, starting with the cooperative that manages the center. 

"Even in the face of the anger that these vile attacks provoke in us, we will responsibly continue our mission," it said. "As always, even in front of the slightest act of intolerance, we immediately alerted the Carabinieri, putting all our resources to work, also and above all to aid the investigators in any way possible to catch the person or people responsible for these hateful and unacceptable acts," it said. 

Legacoop Romagna says 'very serious acts' 

The association Legacoop Romagna, which brings together hundreds of cooperatives across Italy, condemned the episodes, calling them very serious acts that raise particular concern. "We are no longer in the area of intimidation but rather in actual attacks on the safety of workers and guests," it said. "Unfortunately it is no longer surprising that the political climate that has come to grow in this country leads to acts like this," it said. 

The Rimini branch of the National Association of Italian Partisans (ANPI) also expressed its solidarity with the center's guests and workers. "This is the result of months of politics of disrespect and hate for those who are different," said ANPI Rimini President Giusi Delvecchio. Rimini provincial governor Riziero Santi said, "Throwing a paper bomb at a social center that hots refugees is a serious act that offends our entire community and as such must be condemned no ifs, ands, or buts".

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