LOCRI, Italy (Reuters) - An Italian anarchist group that has claimed responsibility for shooting the boss of a nuclear engineering firm threatened on Wednesday to target Prime Minister Mario Monti.
The group, calling itself the Olga Nucleus of the Informal Anarchist Federation-International Revolutionary Front, said in a statement sent to a newspaper in southern Italy that Monti was among seven remaining targets after Roberto Adinolfi, boss of Ansaldo Nucleare, was shot in the leg last week.
The attack fuelled rising concern about a return of political violence in Italy because of economic hardship and increasing opposition to austerity measures implemented by Monti's government.
In a statement sent to the Calabria Ora daily, the group said that attacks against tax enforcement agency Equitalia would continue as long as the government pushed ahead with reforms to cut Italy's huge debt.
"We say to Monti that he is one of the seven remaining and that the people have no interest in staying in Europe, saving the banks and helping to balance the accounts of a state that squandered money for its own interests," the statement said.
Any suicide by an Italian citizen connected to tax difficulties would be punished as a "state murder", it added.
There have been a string of suicides in Italy by businessmen despairing at the collapse of their livelihoods because of the crisis.
The statement contained the same symbols and was in a similar style to a letter sent to Corriere della Sera newspaper last week claiming responsibility for the attack on Adinolfi in the northern city of Genoa.
Italian police believe the claim of responsibility to be genuine and Genoa chief prosecutor Michele di Lecce said last week he would not rule out further attacks.
The same anarchist group claimed last year to have sent letter bombs to among others, Deutsche Bank boss Josef Ackermann in Germany. The director general of Equitalia in Rome lost a finger after opening one of the bombs last December.
Suspected members of a group linked to the far-left Red Brigades, who terrorized Italy during the "Years of Lead" in the 1970s and 80s, called in court for armed revolution on Tuesday when asked about the Adinolfi shooting
(Reporting By Ilario Filippone, writing by Catherine Hornby; editing by Barry Moody)