A teenager ended up in hospital with a broken leg on Saturday night after he and his friends were “thrown to the floor and kicked repeatedly in the head and ribs” by a group of older adolescents in Valletta.

Speaking to the Times of Malta, one of the boys’ fathers said his 14-year-old son was walking down Merchants Street “without a care in the world” after enjoying a meal with his scout group when someone behind them called out.

The group of four boys turned around but did not see anyone they recognised so they continued walking, the father said.

However, the boys heard the same voice behind them tell them, “look at me when I’m speaking to you” and the four were then attacked by the speaker and others in his group.

“My son was thrown to the floor and kicked repeatedly in the head and ribs as were the others but luckily, three of them got off relatively unhurt,” he said.

"It's a parent's worst nightmare."

Although three of the teenage boys escaped the encounter with bruises and treatment at a health centre was enough, one of them, a 15-year-old, sustained grievous injuries and was taken to Mater Dei Hospital, a police spokesperson said.

“His leg was broken,” the father said, “and he had to be taken by ambulance to hospital where this morning he underwent surgery.”

While the police said that the incident resulted from an argument between the two groups, the father described the situation as a “violent attack”.

The attackers, the father said, were four Maltese young men aged around 18 who were accompanied by some girls who tried to stop them. 

"Had the girls not been there, it could have been much worse," the father said.

“This attack was completely unprovoked and in the middle of a relatively busy street… Apparently, the police said this has become common in Valletta – wish I knew,” the father said.

Police said investigations are currently underway.

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