Italian politicians have condemned the actions of an illegal Tunisian migrant arrested in Rome last week for a shocking attack on an elderly nun who was punched in the face while waiting for a train.
Witnesses of the attack were horrified as the Tunisian national, whose name has not been revealed, “stammered something incomprehensible” before punching the 76-year-old sister hard in the face, resulting in wounding and a profuse loss of blood.
The victim had been waiting at the Rome Termini train station to travel back to her home in Milan.
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Railway police officers were quick to respond to the attack, intervening to stop the assailant from inflicting further injury. The attacker was identified by authorities as a Tunisian citizen with no fixed residence, who was currently in Italy illegally.
He was subsequently arrested and charged for aggravated injuries and handed an expulsion order to leave Italy.
The nun was hospitalized with a facial head injury and given a prognosis of ten days until a full recovery.
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The perpetrator was investigated in the past for several assaults and two cases of rape
Italian authorities are yet to have determined the motive for the attack, and have refused to exclude the possibility that the assault was religiously-motivated.
Former Italian interior minister and leader of the right-wing Lega party, Matteo Salvini, commented on the attack in a social media post on Tuesday, in which he wrote: “Obviously the aggressor, once again, is a stowaway.”
Salvini, a vocal opponent of mass migration into Italy primarily from the African mainland, highlighted that further issues may arise if the country continues to ignore the ongoing issue.
Commenting on the news that another 573 undocumented migrants were due to land in Augusta on the island of Sicily in the coming days, he lamented the fact that thousands had already arrived in the first two months of 2022, and questioned the commitment of the current interior minister in tackling the issue.
“Another 573 illegal immigrants arriving, in addition to over 4,000 since the beginning of the year. I undergo a trial because I stopped the landings, the current one minister does not lift a finger. Because?” Salvini asked.