Sixteen-year-old Melissa Bassi has died from injuries sustained in a bombing at her high school in Brindisi, a city located in southern Italy. Although no group has claimed responsibility yet, officials suspect it may have been a revenge attack from the Mafia, according to the Telegraph.
The explosion went off by a low wall surrounding Bassi's school, which is named after Giovanni Falcone, an anti-Mafia prosecutor and his wife, Francesca Morvillo, who were assassinated in 1992 by the Mafia. It occurred around 8 a.m. local time, just as students were coming in for Saturday classes.
The Italian teenager, who was showered with shrapnel, was a fashion student who hoped to work in Milan, according to the Telegraph.
She was from Brindisi and known to her friends for her sunny smile, said the mayor of a nearby town, reported the Associated Press.
They are beasts, whoever did this. Melissa's parents have lost the only thing they ever had. What wrong did these kids ever do? said one of her aunts, according to the Telegraph.
It is as if they had killed Giovanni and Francesca Morvillo all over again, Giovanni Falcone's sister Maria Falcone was quoted as saying by Agenzia Giornalistica Italia about the bombing.
Besides Bassi's fatality, at least seven other students were hospitalized, according to the Associated Press.
The attack happened days after the police conducted a raid that resulted in the capture of members of Sacra Corona Unita, an Italian Mafia group, and days before the 20th anniversary of the car bomb assassination of Falcone and his wife, according to the Telegraph.
Besides the Mafia, Italian authorities are also investigating other possible suspects for the bombing, including domestic or foreign terrorists, reported the New York Times.