A bombing outside a school in the southern Italian town of Brindisi has claimed the life of a teenage girl. Several others were injured. No one has claimed responsibility.
A 16-year-old girl student was killed and several other teenagers were injured Saturday in a powerful bomb blast outside a school in southern Italy.
Officials at the school said that the blast occurred outside the all-girl Francesca Morvillo Falcone vocational school in Brindisi. Students were knocked to the ground.
"I was opening the window and the blast wave hit me. I saw kids on the ground. All blackened. Their books on fire. It was terrifying,” an employee at the prosecutor's office next to the school told the daily newspaper La Repubblica.
Local emergency official Fabian Amati told the news channel Sky TG24 that a 16-year-old student “did not survive.”
Hospital official Paola Ciannamea said that one of the injured girls, also 16, who had initially been reported as dead by police sources cited by Italian media, was alive but in a "very serious condition."
Another injured girl may lose her legs as a result of her injuries, and two others sustained burns all over their bodies. Five others suffered light injuries.
Local media have said the explosive device comprised gas canisters hidden in a container near the entrance of the school.
The attack took place at 7:45 a.m., and police quickly cordoned off the school. Bomb disposal experts rushed to the scene, which was strewn with debris.
Looking to place blame
The bombing sent shockwaves across Italy, where memories are still fresh over the spate of mafia bombings against civilians in the early 1990s.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for Saturday's blast.
"The entire country must react decisively against the temptation of violence and terrorist provocations," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said.
Interior Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri, meanwhile, said there was no clear motive and cautioned against anyone making hasty conclusions.
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said he was following developments "with apprehension" and reached out to the families of the victims.
Local authorities will hold a demonstration later on Saturday in Brindisi to show solidarity with the victims.
The school is named after the wife of famous anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone, who was killed in a bomb attack in Sicily, with her and their three bodyguards, 20 years ago on Wednesday.
tm/ipj (AFP, AP, dpa)