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Letter blast hits Italy tax office

A letter bomb has exploded at an office of Italy's tax collection agency, slightly wounding its director.

Police are probing possible links to an Italian anarchist group that claimed credit for a similar, thwarted attack against the chief executive of Deutsche Bank and warned of two other bombs.

A Rome police official said the bomb was in a yellow bubble envelope mailed for the director's attention at an Equitalia office on the outskirts of Rome.

The director, Marco Cuccagna, suffered a light hand injury. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Premier Mario Monti, who is pushing a package of tax hikes and spending cuts to help Italy deal with a financial crisis, issued a statement expressing solidarity with Cuccagna.

"Equitalia has always done, and continues to do, its duty, in full compliance with the law. It performs an essential role for the functioning of the state, without which it would be impossible to provide services to citizens and their families," said Mr Monti, who is in Brussels for a European Union summit.

On Wednesday, in Frankfurt, a routine mailroom screening found a bomb in a small package, addressed to Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann. The explosive was deactivated without incident.

Tucked alongside that bomb was a letter of responsibility from an Italian anarchist group calling itself The Informal Anarchist Federation.

The letter promised "three explosions against banks, bankers, ticks and bloodsuckers".

The anarchist group has claimed to be behind other mail bombings in the past, including several in Italy.

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