World

Italy seizes ‘combat-ready’ missile in raids on far right

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Media captionThe missile was in a large cache of guns and ammunition

Anti-terrorism police in northern Italy have seized an air-to-air missile and other sophisticated weapons during raids on far-right extremist groups.

Three people were arrested – two of them near Forli airport. Neo-Nazi propaganda was also seized, in raids in several cities.

Italian media say the raids were part of an investigation into Italian far-right help for Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.

The missile is reported to be Qatari.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The missile is reported to be in good condition for combat use

The Turin special police force, called Digos, led the operations, assisted by police in Milan, Varese, Forli and Novara.

Italian media named those arrested as Fabio Del Bergiolo, 50, an Italian ex-customs officer and far-right Forza Nuova party activist; Alessandro Monti, 42, a Swiss national; and Fabio Bernardi, 51, also Italian.

Image copyright Italian police
Image caption A big cache of guns and ammunition was seized

On 3 July a court in Genoa jailed three men who were found guilty of fighting alongside the Russian-backed separatists who control a large swathe of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Two of them – Italian Antonio Cataldo and Albanian-born Olsi Krutani – got terms of two years and eight months. The third, Moldovan citizen Vladimir Vrbitchii, got one year and four months.

More than 10,000 people have died in fighting since Russian-backed separatists launched an insurgency in eastern Ukraine in April 2014. Skirmishes with Ukrainian government troops continue, but the frontline has remained generally static for more than a year.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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