Europe

Italian bomb-squad expert wounded while examining package

  • Forensic police collect evidence on the site of the explosion of a bomb in front of a bookstore in Florence, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. A bomb-squad officer was wounded when a suspicious package he was examining exploded. (Maurizio Degl'Innocenti/ANSA via AP)

    Forensic police collect evidence on the site of the explosion of a bomb in front of a bookstore in Florence, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. A bomb-squad officer was wounded when a suspicious package he was examining exploded. (Maurizio Degl'Innocenti/ANSA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Forensic police collect evidence on the site of the explosion of a bomb in front of a bookstore in Florence, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. A bomb-squad officer was wounded when a suspicious package he was examining exploded. (Maurizio Degl'Innocenti/ANSA via AP)

    Forensic police collect evidence on the site of the explosion of a bomb in front of a bookstore in Florence, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. A bomb-squad officer was wounded when a suspicious package he was examining exploded. (Maurizio Degl'Innocenti/ANSA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Police in Florence say a bomb-squad officer was wounded when a suspicious package he was examining exploded.

The Italian news agency ANSA said police noticed the package, which apparently had a timer and wires, at 5 a.m. Sunday outside a closed bookshop with links to a neo-fascist activist group, CasaPound. Police chief Alberto Intini said the officer suffered very serious eye and hand injuries.

Italy occasionally sees explosions blamed on right-wing or left-wing extremists. In the 1970s and early '80s it suffered bombings, slayings and kidnappings during domestic terrorism.

Mayor Dario Nardella says peaceful Florence "isn't represented by the horrors" of the blast.

Florence Cardinal Giuseppe Betori decried criminals who wanted a "bloody passage from the old year to the new."