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Italian teen killed in school bombing

A BOMB exploded yesterday outside an Italian high school named after a slain anti-Mafia prosecutor, killing a teenage girl and wounding several other classmates, officials said.

The device went off a few minutes before 8am in the Adriatic port town of Brindisi in the country's south just as students milled outside, chatting and getting ready for class at the Morvillo-Falcone vocational institute.

The school is named in honour of prosecutor Giovanni Falcone and his wife, Francesca Morvillo, a judge who was also killed in a 1992 highway bombing in Sicily by the Cosa Nostra.

The victim was identified as 16-year-old Melissa Bassi, from the nearby town of Mesagne, the town's mayor Franco Scoditti said.

One of the wounded students, a girl walking with the victim outside the school, was reported to be in critical condition after surgery. Officials said at least seven students were injured, but some news reports put the figure at 10.

Dr Paola Ciannamea, a physician who helped treat the injured at Brindisi's Perrino hospital, told reporters that one of the injured was a teenage girl who was in a grave but stable condition after surgery. She added that surgery was still being performed on others who suffered burns in the blast.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack.

Italy has been marking the 20th anniversary of the attack on the Sicilian highway that killed the prosecutor and his wife, but it was unclear if there was an organised crime link to yesterday's explosion.

In Brindisi, local civil protection agency official Fabiano Amati said the female student died of her wounds after being taken to a hospital and at least seven other students were hospitalised.

Sunday Independent