Italy says bombing is work of the Mafia

Jan. 4, 2010 at 6:56 PM

REGGIO CALABRIA, Italy, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- A bomb attack on a southern Italian courthouse was retaliation by an organized crime syndicate for arrests and convictions of its members, officials said.

Authorities said the Sunday bombing in Reggio Calabria was a "general warning" by the powerful Ndrangheta crime organization, not directly tied to a particular trial or investigation, ANSA news agency reported Monday.

''We have no doubts that the attack was by organized crime. (The) professionalism demonstrated by the men who planted the bomb made it clear to us that it was commissioned by Ndrangheta," Assistant Prosecutor Michele Prestipino said.

Officials suspect the attack was tied to the government's success in arresting and convicting leading Ndrangheta figures and seizing assets worth millions of euros, ANSA said. The bomb caused minor damage to the front of the courthouse building, which also contains prosecutors' offices.

Ndrangheta, "heroism" or "virtue" in ancient Greek, was long overshadowed by Sicily's Cosa Nostra but has been growing in power and is considered the strongest and most impenetrable of Italy's mafias, ANSA said.

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