Two explosions damaged a car by a post office Friday in central Rome, but no injuries have been reported.
Authorities are exploring a number of possible causes, but early reports indicate remote-controlled devices caused the blast. The homemade device was placed between parked cars and used flammable liquid.
“Double explosion in Rome … initial information from the scene indicates no one was injured. Only one car damaged,” state broadcaster RAI reports.
Fortunately, at the moment of the incident, the parking lot was empty. “It was located in the parking for the post office employees” , said Franco Zelinotti, one fireman from the nearby fire brigade. At the scene, the police found a radio-controlled bomb containing flammable liquid placed around parked vehicles.
Firefighters have barracks just in front of the post office on Via Marmorata and came to the area after hearing the explosion.
“We intervened with a fire extinguisher – added Zelinotti – because the explosion had caused a small flame” .
Police officer Massimo Improta said that the explosive device was planted out by “one or more people who know what they do ” because was assembled with skill and “placed in a place of public interest in which the damage has been contained” . Improta then recalled that “the explosion of today is very similar to another which took place last week in via Laurentina, always in front of an office of the Post Office” .
Police said there is no immediate reason to assume Islamist terrorists were behind the explosions. Authorities instead suspect the blasts were an “act of protest” likely carried out by anarchist groups, newspaper Il Giornale reports.
An area around the ancient Circus Maximus racetrack was closed off as a security precaution, but authorities say the situation is “under control.”
Italian authorities tightened security around the Eternal City last year after the Islamic State released a 35-minute video with a specific threat to “conquer Rome.” Around 800 extra police officers have been deployed to the historic districts to protect locals and tourists from possible attacks.