Two bus drivers were attacked in "a shameful act of misguided racist aggression" in Mgarr yesterday evening, Arriva said.

A 26-year-old black woman driver, a Maltese national, stopped the bus because a car was blocking the road. The bus driver asked the other vehicle driver to reverse, but she refused to budge, according to the police.

The driver started being insulted by the car owner, "because of the colour of her skin" and other people soon joined in hurling insults at the bus driver.

Another bus driver, an Italian national, who was driving by, went to help his colleague but he too was insulted by other people, the police said.

Arriva said in a statement that the incident necessitated police intervention after the Italian driver was subjected to xenophobic comments and was physically assaulted.

Arriva’s operations director Kim Purcell said drivers were hard workers who often work in difficult situations.

“Arriva is unequivocally stating that all aggressions will be reported to the police and drivers will receive full assistance in any eventual court proceedings.

"All our buses are fitted with CCTV cameras which will be used as evidence. The company will not tolerate any type of violence, especially racism,” Ms Purcell said.

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