Murder of elderly couple fuels anti-immigrant sentiment in Italy

Italy’s simmering anti-immigrant sentiment has been stoked by the murder of an elderly couple in their home in Sicily, allegedly by an African asylum seeker.

Mamadou Kamara, an 18-year-old from the Ivory Coast, allegedly slit the throat of Vincenzo Solano, 68, and then attacked his Spanish-born wife, Mercedes Ibanez, 70.

Ms Ibanez fell to her death from a second-floor balcony, during a robbery that turned violent.

Mr Kamara is one of thousands of migrants and refugees living at a vast reception centre at nearby Mineo, in south-eastern Sicily.

They are accommodated there after arriving by boat from Libya, and wait sometimes for months to have their asylum applications assessed.

The migrants are allowed to come and go freely from the facility, a former US military base where prostitution, links with organised crime and the trade in illicit goods is said to be rife.

Mr Kamara, who was rescued in the Mediterranean on June 8 and brought with other migrants to the port of Catania in Sicily, allegedly broke into the pensioners’ flat in the village of Palagonia, six miles away, and slit the throat of Mr Solano.

The elderly man’s wife was found dead in the courtyard of their three-storey apartment block.

Mr Kamara was arrested after police searched his bag on Sunday as he returned to the migrant centre.
Inside they found a mobile telephone, a laptop computer, a video camera and a pair of trousers, allegedly belonging to Mr Solano, that were covered in blood.

The young African man claimed to have “found” the items, but police arrested him and are expected to charge him with two counts of murder.

Source: The Telegraph