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No claim in Italy school bombing

Investigators say there has been no claim of responsibility or any firm clues as yet after a bomb blast outside a high school in southern Italy that killed a 16-year-old student.

The crude device made up of gas cylinders exploded outside a mainly all-girls vocational school in the Adriatic port town of Brindisi.

The student killed by the bomb was Melissa Bassi, known to her friends for her sunny smile and dream of becoming a fashion designer. Four other young women who were hospitalised with burns are said to be improving.

The school is named after a judge killed alongside her husband, a famous anti-Mafia prosecutor, in a bombing in Palermo, Sicily, exactly 20 years ago, leading some to think the mob may be responsible.

Italy has been marking the 20th anniversary of the attack on the Sicilian highway that killed prosecutor Giovanni Falcone and his wife, but it was unclear if there was an organised crime link to Saturday's explosion.

Interior Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri, in charge of domestic security, said she was "struck" by the fact that the school was named after the slain hero and his wife, but she cautioned that investigators at that point "have no elements" to blame the school attack on organized crime.

The bombing follows a spate of recent attacks against Italian officials and government or public buildings by a group of anarchists, including the shooting and wounding of an official from a nuclear engineering firm, which is part of a state-controlled company. An anti-nuclear anarchist group that previously had targeted Italy's tax collection agency claimed responsibility for the shooting.

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