In Italy, a powerful bomb, planted by extremists, shattered the main door of the senatorial palace in Rome's historic Capitol building on Friday (20 April).
GV fire engines at site of bombing, Rome's capitol building, with fire ladders leading to roof (THREE SHOTS)
TS debris on steps of building TILT UP TO broken windows and damaged doors (TWO SHOTS)
GV PAN broken windows and doors with foreman inspecting debris (TWO SHOTS)
GV officials carrying sections of masonry away for examination (THREE SHOTS)
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Background: In Italy, a powerful bomb, planted by extremists, shattered the main door of the senatorial palace in Rome's historic Capitol building on Friday (20 April). Reuters news agency quoted speculation that the incident was part of an extremist campaign to disrupt Italy in the weeks before the general election on the third and fourth of June.
SYNOPSIS: The bombing was a change in terrorist tactics. Until now, the current wave of political violence in Italy has been against undefended individuals or the offices of political parties. Two different underground organisations claimed responsibility for the blast.
The blast smashed all windows in the senatorial palace and two other palaces in capitol square. The only serious damage was to the main door leading to the municipal council chamber. On Saturday (21 April), specialists picked up thousands of fragments of wood and marble. They said they hoped to be able to restore the door to something approaching its former condition.
Firemen checked the palace walls, cornices and statues for signs of further damage. The damaged door was designed by Michelangelo, who, according to the mayor of Rome, Signor Guilio Carlo Argan, had conceived of St Peter's as the city's religious centre, and the capitol building as its civil centre. The mayor, who is pro-communist and a noted art historian, claimed the bombing was the action of fascists. The organisations which both claimed responsibility call themselves the 'Armed Revolutionary Nuclei' and the 'Italian Popular Movement'. Recent extremist actions include stabbing to death a young communist in Rome, and attacks on Christian Democratic Party offices in Milan and Naples.