Hamas holds 4 suspects over Italian’s murder

GAZA CITY (AFP) — The Hamas government said Saturday it has arrested two more suspects in connection with the murder of an Italian activist, hanged hours after his abduction.

The interior ministry “managed to arrest two suspects” in the murder on Friday of pro-Palestinian activist Vittorio Arrigoni, in addition to two other suspects previously taken into custody, a statement said.

“The security forces continue to hunt other members of the group responsible for the murder,” said the statement.

The suspects arrested were being questioned about Arrigoni’s murder, it added, without revealing their names or when they were arrested.

Hamas had said Friday two suspected kidnappers were arrested and security officials were looking for accomplices.

The Italian activist was found hanged in a house north of Gaza City, the ruling Hamas government said on Friday, blaming a radical Islamist group for his murder.

“The government media office denounces the criminal kidnapping and murder of an Italian solidarity activist… who was found by security hanging in an abandoned house in northern Gaza,” Hamas said on Friday.

Hamas government spokesman Ihab Al-Ghoussein branded the murder a “heinous crime which has nothing to do with our values, our religion, our customs and traditions.”

“The other members of the group will be hunted down and the law will be applied,” Al-Ghoussein said on Friday.

The pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement named the activist as 36-year-old member Vittorio Arrigoni, who had been living in the Gaza Strip for much of the past three years.

In a video posted on YouTube, the kidnappers said Arrigoni had been taken hostage in order to secure the release of an unspecified number of Salafists detained by Hamas security forces.

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