A conference hall in Rome, Italy, has been severely damaged by fire after at least five bombs exploded inside.
A conference hall in Rome, Italy, has been severely damaged by fire after at least five bombs exploded inside. The attack came three days before the hall was due to be used for a congress of the new-fascist Italian Social Movement.
SYNOPSIS: One report from Rome said the bombs were home-made. The explosion, in the early hours of Monday (10 January) morning, started the fire which trapped a night-watchman and his family. Firemen later rescued them unhurt.
The building, which was almost gutted in the blaze, is the well-known Palazzo dei Congressi, built during the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini. Since the end of the Second World War, it has served as a permanent conference centre. The Social Movement's congress was due to begin on Thursday. Last week the hall was the venue for a major meeting of trade unionists from Italy's three main political parties. Hours before the blast, there was a meeting of the 'Christians for Socialism' movement. Police investigating the incident said they suspected the attack was the work of political extremists. But there were no initial clues to the identity of the arsonists.
The bombs exploded without warning, and no-one immediately claimed responsibility. Early reports from the scene said it was likely the Social Movement would have to find another venue for their congress.