The former youth hostel in Genoa's Oregina district, which hosts unaccompanied migrant minors, was stormed in the night of February 21, 2022 by a group of 'hooded' youths armed with sticks and stones | Photo: ANSA/LUCA ZENNARO
The former youth hostel in Genoa's Oregina district, which hosts unaccompanied migrant minors, was stormed in the night of February 21, 2022 by a group of 'hooded' youths armed with sticks and stones | Photo: ANSA/LUCA ZENNARO

Unaccompanied migrant minors staying in a former hostel in Genoa, Italy, were attacked in the night of February 21 by about 10 'hooded' youths who threw stones and sticks against their building's windows and insulted them. Guests broke pieces of furniture to arm themselves and tried to get out of the facility to respond to the attackers but educators and police intervened.

A group of youths, who were wearing hoods, assaulted on the night between Monday and Tuesday (February 21-22) a former hostel in Genoa which hosts unaccompanied migrant minors.

The attackers threw stones and rods against the building's windows, insulting the foreign guests in a suspected "punitive raid" against the young residents, investigative sources said Tuesday.

Over the past few weeks, migrant minors staying at the center allegedly attacked peers and bothered residents of the neighborhood, according to the sources.

The attack started early in the evening of February 21. About 10 people wearing hoods, probably minors, according to investigative sources, started throwing stones and sticks against the windows of the facility.

The 17 guests went down to the garden after breaking pieces of furniture inside to arm themselves and tried to break out of the facility to confront the assailants. However, educators were able to avoid contact between the two groups by closing all the doors.

DIGOS security police and several police cars rushed to the building, located on the hills of Genoa. DIGOS ruled out a political motive for the attack. The attackers fled before the officers' arrival. Investigators searched the neighborhood but couldn't find any suspects.

Police units, including Carabinieri military police, have been watching the building since the incident to avoid potential new assaults.

'Shocking' attack, employees say

Employees of the social cooperative Agorà that manages the center said the assault was "shocking" and that they had never witnessed anything similar before. "We don't know how to qualify it, we trust the police investigation. The situation is truly complicated", they said. Investigators questioned residents.

According to their reports, the migrants allegedly walked around armed with knives, molesting young girls and stealing. Investigative sources said the assailants could have been challenging the center's residents after an alleged "insult" in the previous days.

City of Genoa calls for government's support

A reported 283 unaccompanied migrant minors currently reside in Genoa, including 100 who are hosted by the municipal administration. Under the SAI program, the hosting and integration program for minors of the interior ministry, the city should only host 183.

For this reason, "in the coming days, a meeting will be organized with the prefect to ask the government for more help", said the councilor in charge of social services of the city of Genoa, Mario Baroni.

"We condemn the episode that occurred last night but hope for concrete support from the interior ministry and we have already written to ask for more spots in the network SAI", the system of reception and integration, he added.

A number of local residents staged a demonstration of solidarity for the migrants.

 

More articles