Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Rome Explosions at Embassies Linked to Italian Anarchists

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Rome Explosions at Embassies Linked to Italian Anarchists

Article excerpt

Rome explosions at the Swiss and Chilean embassies today bear the hallmarks of Italian anarchists, who could be trying to take advantage of the country's fragile political situation, say experts.

After weeks of raucous student protests and political uncertainty surrounding embattled Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Italy is now on edge over a string of terror attacks targeting foreign embassies.

Two small bombs exploded today at the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome, injuring two people. The Rome explosions follow the the discovery of a fake bomb Wednesday on Rome's subway. Anonymous callers alerted police today that the presidential palace could also be targeted, but that report turned out to be a false alarm.

The climate has grown so tense in Rome that the Ukrainian Embassy reported a suspicious package to police that turned out to a Christmas gift to an employee.

So far no group has claimed responsibility for today's attacks. Many experts, however, say the bombings, which come about six weeks after a string of parcel bombs in Greece targeted embassies (including the Swiss Embassy), appear to be the work of Italian anarchists. Likewise, the parcel-bomb attacks in Athens last month were also blamed on anarchist groups.

Italy's Interior Minister Roberto Maroni told the news agencies that the attacks in Rome "bear many similarities with the episodes that took place in November in Greece, which lead us to think the international track is the right one," he said referring to the investigation into today's attacks.

The attacks follow weeks of student protests against the proposed reform of the university system and, more broadly, against the current right-wing government. Earlier this week the students staged huge protests in Rome and in Milan, while last month a group of students stormed Pisa's world famous leaning tower.

Riots erupted in Rome on Dec. 14, minutes after Mr. Berlusconi barely survived a no-confidence motion in parliament. Back then, a group of students tried unsuccessfully to break into the Senate building. …

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