Italian anarchist group claims parcel bomb

An Italian anarchist group on Friday claimed responsibility for a parcel bomb that was sent this week to a newspaper office but failed to detonate, saying journalists who investigate the underground organization would be targeted.

The letter from the Informal Anarchist Federation, or FAI, was sent to Il Secolo XIX, a local newspaper in Genoa, a port in northern Italy where two suspected FAI members shot and wounded the head of a nuclear energy company last year.

The alleged perpetrators are under arrest and the letter received by Il Secolo XIX said the parcel bomb sent to La Stampa daily on Tuesday was a form of retribution, the newspaper reported.

Il Secolo XIX also said the FAI letter included "clear threats to journalists who covered the shooting and who carry out investigations into anarchist-insurrectional movements."

It said the letter was being analyzed by police.

The FAI has been linked in recent years to a series of parcel bomb attacks against EU leaders, foreign embassies in Rome, Italian police and prison authorities. It is believed to have strong ties with Greek anarchists.

The bomb sent to La Stampa forced an evacuation of the building as bomb disposal teams were deployed.

It failed to detonate when it was opened.

Dunja Mijatovic, media freedom representative for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in the Europe (OSCE), condemned the attempted bombing.

"All threats to media outlets represent direct threats to media freedom," he said in a statement.

"Regrettably, the event at La Stampa is only the latest in a string of cases where journalists have been attacked and intimidated in Italy," he said.

"It is a worrying trend that needs to be promptly addressed by the Italian authorities," he added.

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VIDEO: Venice shuts down for WWII-era bomb removal

A Venice port area was evacuated on Sunday morning as a World War II-era bomb was defused and exploded in the sea.

VIDEO: Venice shuts down for WWII-era bomb removal
Photo: AFP

The operation in the port of Marghera, a mostly industrial area separated from the tourist city by water, required the evacuation of about 3,500 residents beginning in the early morning.

Boat, train and bus traffic was all halted during the operation and planes were prohibited from flying to and from Marco Polo Airport from 8:30am (0730GMT) until 12:30 pm.

The bomb, which weighed about 225 kilos (500 pounds) and contained about 129 kilos of TNT, was discovered during an excavation to fix sewer lines in January.

At mid-morning, authorities said the first two phases of the operation – the evacuation of residents, and the process to strip the fuses from the bombs, had been successfully completed.

Video: Comune di Venezia via Repubblica

Gianluca Dello Monacco, commander of the Army regiment that carried out the work, told Rai24 that the precautions were justified.

“It still carried a high risk of explosion,” Dello Monacco said.

Next was the transfer of the bomb on a ship to a remote area in the sea, where it was detonated.