Italian soldiers were forced to intervene in three separate brawls over a period of only a few hours, including violence between migrants in which one soldier was attacked.
The three bouts of violence took place in Naples’ Vasto district during the middle of the night as acts of violence have become more and more common in the area, Il Giornalereports.
As part of Operation Strade Sicure, or “secure streets”, several military personnel were also on hand in the area and were forced to intervene in two of the brawls.
The first, between Italian nationals, ended quickly after the soldiers got involved in the dispute with police officers coming in shortly after to handcuff and arrest the suspects involved.
The second fight which the soldiers became involved with was between two migrants and occurred just as police were attempting to identify the men in the previous brawl.This time the soldiers attempted to separate the two parties but one of the migrants, both originating from a country outside the European Union, punched one of the soldiers in the face during the scuffle. Both migrant men involved in the fight were then arrested by police.
The brawls are just the latest acts of violence to plague the Vasto district. Last weekend saw several acts of violence following an “anti-racism” demonstration on Friday in which local residents refused to participate, closing their windows and doors to the marchers. The reaction was seen as having heightened the tension among the migrants.
Migrant violence has plagued Italy for several years including brawling between migrants and Italians, as was the case in the Sardinian city of Sassari last October in which ten Italians were attacked by as many as 30 asylum seekers in what was described as a revenge attack.
Migrant criminal gang wars have also spilt out onto the streets of Italy. For three straight days, Nigerian migrants in the town of Ferrara engaged in various attacks on each other involving knives and other weapons earlier this month.