Maltese police Saturday said they were questioning two soldiers over a drive-by shooting in April in which an African migrant was killed.

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Ivorian national Lassana Cisse was killed April 6 when he was shot from a car as he walked down a street in Hal Far, close to an army barracks and a migrants’ center.

Two men, one from Gambia and the other from Guinea, were injured.

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Police said the attack was racially motivated and a source in the investigation said one of the suspects had admitted to targeting the migrants “just because they were black.”

On Saturday, the police confirmed that two Maltese suspects, both soldiers in the Armed Forces of Malta, were in custody.

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The weapon and the vehicle used in the crime had been seized, police said.

The deceased man used to work in a factory near Hal Far, in the south of Malta. He was known for checking on his fellow countrymen in the migrants’ center after work, media reported.

In a series of tweets, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said an investigation involving other security services would determine whether the suspects were rogue individuals or part of a wider network.

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He said hatred and division had no place in Malta’s society.

“There are consequences to spreading such ill-placed sentiments,” he said. “We remain steadfast in our call for unity among the Maltese and all those who live in Malta.”


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