Bullets sent to Italy justice minister, Rome mayor

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 12, 2011 3:29 PM

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's Justice Minister Paola Severino has been sent a letter containing a bullet and a threatening message, her spokesman said on Monday, days after a mail bomb exploded at a tax collection office in Rome, injuring an official.

Two bullets and a message were also sent in a separate package to Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno, officials said.

Police anti-sabotage specialists found the two almost identical envelopes at a mail sorting office before they arrived at their destinations.

Prime Minister Mario Monti released a statement expressing his concern about the threats.

"Acts like this have to be strongly condemned," he said.

Police have stepped up their monitoring efforts after an Italian anarchist group claimed responsibility for two letter bombs sent last week.

The first, sent to Deutsche Bank chief executive Josef Ackermann, was discovered on Wednesday before it was opened. The second blew up in the hands of the chief of an Italian tax collection agency on Friday. He lost part of a finger and suffered injuries to his eyes.

An anonymous parcel containing explosives found and safely disposed of at the Greek embassy in Paris on Monday also appeared to have been mailed from Italy, according to an embassy spokesman.

(Reporting By Roberto Landucci and Catherine Hornby, writing by Steve Scherer; editing by Alistair Lyon)