A bomb exploded outside Italy’s Morvillo-Falcone vocational institute, a high school in Brindisi, shortly before 8 a.m. on Saturday, leaving one dead and at least six injured.
Sunday’s bombing occurred near the school, which, according to The New York Times, is named after magistrate Francesca Morvillo, and her husband, Giovanni Falcone, who were killed on May 23, 1992 by a Cosa Nostra bomb. Italy has been planning to commemorate the two on the 20th anniversary of their death.
An official from the Civil Protection authority told Reuters that:
“Given the effect of the explosion, it appears that this was something quite powerful.”
Eyewitnesses reported that the bomb consisted of gas canisters, which were set off by times, that had been placed on a low wall that surrounds the school. The wall appeared to be charred and damaged from the blast.
The moment of violence shook the country, who immediately recalled the “Years of Lead,” a period of time in Italy that was filled with political and social turmoil. The New York Times reports that the time was marked by dozens of terrorism acts that were carried out by both left and right-wing radicals.
The paper went on to state that following the blast, Italians took to the streets in an unorganized protest, holding sit-ins in many cities. Even sporting events stopped for a moment of silence to remember the girl, Melissa Bassi, 16, who was killed in the blast, as well as the others that were injured. Reports even stated that an all-night museum extravaganza in Rome that usually sees tens of thousands of visitors, was canceled.
So far no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, and Italian authorities are expected to explore every avenue, including the possibility that Sacra Corona Unita, an organized mafia in the area, could have caused the destruction.