Italian police raid homes of suspects over New Year’s Eve sex attacks in Milan

·1-min read
Stock image of Milan (PA)
Stock image of Milan (PA)

Italian police have raided the homes of 15 young men and three boys suspected of being involved in sexual attacks during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Milan.

Nine women have come forward so far saying they were attacked at the celebrations at Milan’s Piazza del Duomo.

Police said the 18 suspects are foreigners or Italian of north African origin and that all are aged between 15 and 21.

Raids were carried out early on Tuesday morning at homes in Milan and Turin.

Italian police said in a statement they used CCTV and amateur footage to identify the suspects.

Officers believe there to be more than the nine victims reported so far and are trying to trace other victims.

Among the victims were two young German students who were pushed up against barriers and sexually assaulted and a girl who was attacked separately in streets close to the piazza, according to reports.

One of the German women, aged 20, said they were attacked by dozens of people.

"I realised they were touching me and we wanted to escape but there were too many of them," she told Ansa news agency.

Her friend fell and also was groped, she said.

The Italian interior minister Luciana Lamorgese said last week action must be taken to ensure such “deplorable behaviours” never happened again.

The case has been compared to the mass sexual assaults which took place in the German city of Cologne on New Year’s Eve in 2015-16.

In that incident, a spate of rapes, sexual assaults and muggings were carried out by up 1,000 young men in and around the city’s cathedral.

Angela Merkel, the then chancellor, said the attacks were “abominable”.

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