Italy seizes 'combat-ready' missile in raids on far right

Anti-terrorism police in northern Italy have seized an air-to-air missile and other sophisticated weapons during raids on far-right extremist groups

The missile was one of those used by the Qatari army, Italian police said
The missile was one of those used by the Qatari army, Italian police said

Anti-terrorism police in northern Italy have seized an air-to-air missile and other sophisticated weapons during raids on far-right extremist groups.

Three people were arrested, two of them near Forli airport. Neo-Nazi propaganda was also seized, in the raids.

The raids were part of an investigation into Italian far-right help for Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, local media said.

 Neo-Nazi propaganda was also seized, in the raids
Neo-Nazi propaganda was also seized, in the raids

The missile was one of those used by the Qatari army, Italian police said.

The Turin special police force, called Digos, led the operations, assisted by police in Milan, Varese, Forli and Novara.

Italian media named those arrested as Fabio Del Bergiolo, 50, an Italian ex-customs officer and far-right Forza Nuova party activist; Alessandro Monti, 42, a Swiss national; and Fabio Bernardi, 51, also Italian.

The missile appears to be a French-made Matra Super 530 F.

"During the operation, an air-to-air missile in perfect working order and used by the Qatari army was seized," police said in a statement.

On 3 July a court in Genoa jailed three men who were found guilty of fighting alongside the Russian-backed separatists who control a large swathe of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

In the Genoa case, two men, Italian Antonio Cataldo and Albanian-born Olsi Krutani, got terms of two years and eight months. The third, Moldovan citizen Vladimir Vrbitchii, got one year and four months.

More than 10,000 people have died in fighting since the heavily-armed separatists launched an insurgency in eastern Ukraine in April 2014. Skirmishes with Ukrainian government troops continue, but the frontline has remained generally static for more than a year.

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