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Alleged Moro slayer arrested

MILAN, Italy -- Police arrested Italy's most-wanted terrorist Saturday and said he was the suspected mastermind of the 1978 abduction and murder of former Prime Minister Aldo Moro.

Police said they arrested Mario Moretti, 35, along with three other terrorist suspects at a farm between Milan and Pavia.

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The arrests climaxed a huge police sweep through northern Italy.

Moretti, No. 1 on Italy's most wanted list, had been hunted by police since the Red Brigades ambushed Moro's car on a Rome street on March 16, 1978, killing his five bodyguards. Moro was later killed and his body left in a car found in downtown Rome on May 9, 1978.

The Milan police chief announced Moretti's arrest in a brief communique which said:

'The Milan anti-terrorist police (DIGOS), after lengthy investigation, this afternoon arrested the notorious terrorist Mario Moretti. Moretti was going around armed and with false identity papers. He has admitted his true identity and has declared himself a political prisoner. Further investigations are in progress.'

Police said they believed Moretti was head of the 'Rome column' of the Red Brigades at the time of the Moro kidnapping. He also was wanted for a series of bombings and shootings in the capital.

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