Bomb explodes at American-owned Rome newspaper

May 26, 1982
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ROME -- Communist extremists blasted the offices of an American-owned English-language newspaper with a time bomb today in what they said was 'a greeting for the hangman Reagan.'

President Reagan is scheduled to visit Rome June 7 in the course of his forthcoming European tour.

The bomb wrecked the entrance hall and furniture and equipment in the second floor office of the International Daily News at at 7:40 a.m. but caused no casualties, police said.

Five hours later a telephone call to the Italian news agency ANSA claimed a minor terrorist organization calling itself 'Communist Groups for Proletarian Internationalism' was responsible for the blast.

The American-owned Daily News also operates a private radio station in Rome.

'This morning we searched and destroyed the American Daily News radio,' the caller said. 'This is our greeting for the hangman Reagan.'

The caller signed off with the slogan: 'Against all imperialisms.'

In recent months communist terrorists have carried out a series of similar bomb attacks against American-connected institutions in Rome.

The Rome-based Daily News is owned by American Robert Cunningham Jr., and has Americans on its editorial staff.

An American editor, Greg Szymanski, and an Italian member of the staff had opened the offices only a few minutes before the explosion. They were on a lower floor of the building when the bomb went off.

The bombers placed the timed device -- some 1 pounds of explosives - inside the entrance to the office. The blast blew a small hole in the floor and firemen examined the building to see whether there was structural damage.

'The newspaper will continue to publish,' American managing editor Christopher Winner said. 'We have no idea who might have done this, or why they did it. We have received no threats and we have no enemies, so far as we know.'

Earlier targets of bombing attacks in Rome included a downtown bookshop that sells the American magazine Reader's Digest, the Bank of America in Italy and the Italian Chamber of Commerce for the United States.

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