Three Chechen asylum seekers have been arrested after a 22-year-old Italian was beaten to death at a nightclub in Lloret de Mar, Costa Brava.
Disturbing CCTV footage circulating on social media shows Niccolo Ciatti, from the town of Scandicci, near Florence, already lying on the ground with a friend when one of his attackers delivers a powerful kick to his head, rendering him limp and apparently unconscious.
The attacker then aims another kick at the head of Niccolo’s friend, which lands less cleanly, and swings a huge punch at a man standing on the periphery of the altercation.
Police say the young man was transferred to the Josep Trueta Hospital in nearby Girona in a “critical condition” but died around 24 hours later.
The three suspects, aged 20, 24, and 26, reportedly fled the nightclub after the fatal attack, but were later found and taken into custody shortly afterwards.
Spanish media reports indicate the trio have pending asylum applications in neighbouring France, although the MailOnline has made an unsubstantiated claim that they are also seeking asylum in Spain itself.
— Jack Montgomery ن (@JackBMontgomery) August 15, 2017
Like Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev — the Boston Marathon bombers — the men have their roots in Chechnya, a rebellious, semi-autonomous republic of the Russian Federation where around 95 per cent of residents are Muslim.
Most mainstream media outlets have chosen to omit or at least deemphasize their Chechen roots, preferring to describe them as “Russians” instead. Some early news agency coverage did not mention that they are thought to be asylum seekers, either.
A friend of Niccolo, who witnessed the beating, said the attackers “were like animals”, and criticised bystanders who stood back filming the assault on their mobile phones instead of helping.
There is also some question as to whether or not the owners of the nightclub — Saint Trop — might have been failing to meet the legal obligations to their patrons on the night of the attack, and investigators are seeking to establish why no security guards were on hand.