Around 2,000 US Army soldiers have been banned from one of the main streets in the Italian city of Vicenza after a brawl between soldiers and locals.
The temporary ban, which affects members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade stationed in the city, involves the quaint via Contra’ Pescherie Vecchie, where two young Vicenza men say they were surrounded and beaten by several soldiers after a verbal exchange just outside a popular watering hole for off duty combat paratroopers.
City authorities are studying CCTV images to identify the culprits of the latest violent episode, which prompted Mayor Francesco Rucco to request special restrictive measures from the base commander.
The U.S. military issued a memo warning that personnel caught entering the restricted zone during the 45-day ban faced disciplinary sanctions.
The US military presence in Vicenza has been expanding for the last decade, with construction of the large Del Din annex north of the historic Ederle garrison to help lodge US Africa Command and the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, which conducts contingency response and NATO ally training in Europe.
Vicenza’s 113,000 inhabitants now intermingle, mostly peacefully, with more than 12,000 Americans, including military family members and employees of the two bases bookending the city.
Via The Telegraph