Downtown Genoa Off-limits to U.S. Marines and Sailors
GENOA, Italy (AP) _ Downtown Genoa has been declared off-limits to U.S. sailors and Marines from two ships that docked here last week, a U.S. Navy official said Wednesday.
A spokesman for the 6th Fleet in Naples, Cmdr. Michael E. Cherry, confirmed Italian newspaper reports that commanding officers gave issued the off-limits order to 1,100 Marines and sailors from the amphibious troop carriers Newport and Spartanburg County, which docked in Genoa on March 5.
Cherry said he didn’t know why the order was given, but he said it was made at the suggestion of local police.
The Rome newspapers Il Messaggero and La Repubblica speculated that the order may have been given because of fears of a terrorist attack or concern over the possibility of servicemen contracting AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
However, Cherry said, ″I have no reason to think that terrorist threats or AIDS fear had prompted that suggestion.″