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Singing Italians celebrate WWII liberation at windows

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Rome (AFP)

Locked down Romans sang an anti-Fascist resistance song out of windows Saturday as Italy celebrated the 75th anniversary of its liberation by Allied forces during World War II.

Jet planes buzzed across Rome's azure skies but other festivities were cancelled because of a coronavirus outbreak that has officially claimed more than 26,000 lives in the Mediterranean country.

The day's big invent involved everyone joining a singalong from their windows of "Bella Ciao" -- an old protest song that turned into Italy's unofficial anti-Fascist anthem.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte often refers to the pandemic as Italy's greatest challenge since 1945.

Italy was liberated from Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime by US and its European allies weeks before the Nazis' surrender in Berlin.

But remnants of the old far right are still in power across parts of northern Italy that were hardest hit by the new disease.

Populist far right leader Matteo Salvini voiced his displeasure with Saturday's singalong.

"I respect those who gave their life for our country's freedom," he Salvini tweeted,

"But now, instead of singing 'Bella Ciao', I think our priority should be to help with money for citizens who are in need."

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