Letter with bullet sent to Berlusconi on eve of regional polls
Date created : Latest update :
A threatening letter containing a bullet addressed to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and a letter bomb sent to a Northern League minister have added an eerie finale to a chaotic campaign for Italy's regional elections, which begin on Sunday.
AFP- Italy's postal service intercepted a threatening letter containing a bullet addressed to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, while a letter bomb sent to a minister caught fire, police said Saturday.
A large envelope containing a letter addressed to Berlusconi with the threat "you will end up like a rat" was discovered on Friday in a post office in the Libate suburb of the northern city of Milan, police said.
The package, which also referred to other leaders of Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PDL) party, was addressed to the prime minister's private residence in the Milan region, they said.
Berlusconi was in Libya for an Arab League summit.
The ANSA news agency reported that the anonymous letter contained drawings of figures under which were written the names of four PDL leaders including Defence Minister Ingazio La Russa.
In another Milan post office, a letter bomb caught fire on Saturday, slightly injuring the hands of a postman, police said.
The Milan prefecture said the package contained threats against Interior Minister Roberto Maroni and was claimed by the Informal Anarchist Federation.
The letter accused Maroni, a member of Italy's far-right anti-immigrant Northern League, of failing to crack down on rapes in illegal immigrant centres, police said.
The threats come ahead of fiercely contested regional elections on Sunday and Monday, with Berlusconi seeking to stem a slide in his popularity.
The interior ministry condemned the incidents as "real terrorist acts" which it vowed to eliminate to prevent a return to the violent political unrest that plagued Italy around the 1970s.
It said the threats amounted to "very serious intimidation" which it would address at an extraordinary meeting of the Public Order and Security Committee called for Wednesday, it said.
Berlusconi was injured in an attack last December when a man hurled a heavy souvenir model of Milan's gothic cathedral at the controversial 73-year-old prime minister after a rally in the city, breaking his nose and two of his teeth.