Calls to increase security after man wearing crucifix stabbed

ROME – Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has called for increased security measures after a violent dispute over a crucifix led to the stabbing of one homeless man and the arrest of another at Rome’s central train station Termini.

 A Moroccan man, 37, has been detained, accused of attempted homicide after attacking a Georgian national, who suffered a throat injury.

 The drama unfolded after a violent dispute broke out between the two homeless men Saturday on the line 64 bus. Witnesses said the perpetrator, who noticed a crucifix hanging from the necklace of the victim, followed him to Piazza dei Cinquecento in front of Termini station. 

 The North African man then stabbed the victim in the throat with a kitchen knife and shouted, “Italian Catholic piece of shit.” 

 Bloodied and wounded, the 44-year-old Georgian man apparently mistaken for an Italian, approached police officers at Piazza dei Cinquecento, who gave chase and arrested the attacker soon after.

 It is unclear if the man is deranged or if the attack is terrorism-related, investigators said.

 Mr Salvini said he has written to Italy’s prefects and police chiefs telling them to “increase checks and attention in places where Islamic citizens congregate in order to prevent any type of violence against innocent citizens.”