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Suspicious package found in Rome metro lacked detonator, officials say

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2010-12-21

A suspicious device found in an empty train carriage at Rome's Rebibbia metro station could not have exploded because it lacked a detonator, Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno said on Tuesday. Metro service was not affected.

AFP - A parcel bomb was on Tuesday found hidden inside a shoe box in a train carriage in Rome's metro system after passengers had got off at the train's last stop, officials said.

The device, which contained gunpowder and metal tubing, was found by a transport worker at around 10:00 am (0900 GMT) at Rebibbia station on the outskirts of the Italian capital.

"It appears the device could not have exploded," Rome's mayor, Gianni Alemanno, told reporters, contradicting city council spokesman Giampaolo Polizzaro who earlier told AFP it had been "ready to explode."

"It seems it could have been activated by remote control because it had something that looked like an antenna," Polizzaro said earlier.

The website of the Corriere della Sera daily quoted a police source saying it could have been a pipe bomb.

Alemanno said the news was "worrying," Corriere della Sera reported.

The bomb was found after the last passengers had descended from a train coming from Rome city centre, the transport authority said in a statement.

Officers were called "immediately" and isolated the area where the bomb was found but the station was not evacuated, the transport authority said.

The metro system continued functioning as normal.

Security measures have been stepped up in Rome following violent anti-government protests last week and ahead of expected rallies on Wednesday.
 

Date created : 2010-12-21

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