July 19, 1992
Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Anti-mafia magistrate Paolo Borsellino is assassinated by a remote-controlled car bomb

In the early evening of July 19, Borsellino arrived at his mother’s apartment building to bring her to a doctor’s appointment. As he and several of his body guards approached the building, a car bomb was detonated remotely. The resulting explosion shattered windows five stories above, and those nearby likened force of the blast to an earthquake. The explosion killed Borsellino and five of the six police officers assigned to guard him; the sixth was spared because he was parking a car at the time of the explosion.

The Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian Mafia, claimed responsibility for the assassination, though Borsellino’s family also believes members of the Italian government played a part in the assassination to hide any possible corruption or collaboration with the Mafia.

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