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Home >> World
UPDATED: 10:32, March 26, 2006
Four suspected extremists arrested in security raids in Italy
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Italian police have arrested four men in a series of nationwide raids on suspected Islamic extremists, police said on Saturday.

The operation, staged on Friday, covered 46 provinces across Italy, and came two weeks before the country's general election.

Authorities over the past several days searched more than 1,100 businesses, including telephone call centers, money-transfer centers, Internet cafes and Muslim butchers, state police said in a statement.

"The operation concerned individuals already involved to various extents in investigations and led to the confiscation of copious documentation which is now in the hands of the investigators," the statement said.

In the operation, police also checked the papers of 289 people and decided to deport 20 terrorist suspects.

According to a recent intelligence report, Italy was one of the possible targets of terrorist attacks, and the period of greatest danger was between last month's Winter Olympics in Turin and the general elections scheduled for April 9-10.

Due to a military presence in Iraq, Italy has become a target of terrorist attacks.

Earlier, Italian Defense Minister Antonio Martino said that although the government had not received clear information, he could not rule out the possibility of a terrorist attack during the general election.

Source: Xinhua

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