CALTANISSETTA, Sicily (AP) _ A young man rushed up to the mayor of this central Sicilian town, fatally stabbing him in the chest Friday.

The victim, Michele Abbate, 47, a physician, was near the entrance to his medical office when the assailant stabbed him before fleeing and then dropped the knife in a nearby alley, Italian news reports said.

Many killings in Sicily, including those involving local politicians, are often linked to the mafia, but investigators said the attack on the center-left mayor didn't appear to be the work of mobsters.