Double bomb-blast sends shock waves through Rome

Double bomb-blast sends shock waves through Rome
The double bomb attack took place close to a UN facility in the centre of the Italian capital. No casualties were reported in its immediate aftermath.
2 min read
12 May, 2017
Authorities have cordoned off the scene of the blast on Via Morata [AFP]
Two bombs exploded in a central district of Rome on Friday causing panic in the Italian capital, but inflicting little material damage.

The incident took place on Via Morata close to a post office and a United Nations building.

Images from the scene show damage to cars at the scene of the blats. However, no injuries or casualties were reported.

"At around nine this morning there were two explosions, the first one small, the second one bigger," said a local cafe worker in comment to The New Arab.

"It caused a fire and black smoke. I was scared."

Italian police have confirmed that two blasts occurred at the site in the Aventino neighbourhood.

In the aftermath of the attack Il Giornale reported that the blasts were likely caused by rudimentary homemade bombs filled with flammable materials that were remotely detonated.

Investigators gather evidence from the crime scene in Rome's Aventino neighbourhood [Massinissa Benlakehal]

Further claims from local Italian media outlets stated that the explosives had been placed beside vehicles in the Poste Italiane carpark.

The post office was open at the time of the explosions, with homes and businesses in the area consequently evacuated in its aftermath. 

However, the target of the attack remained unclear at the time of publication.

Italian police cordoned off the scene shortly after the incident [Massinissa Benlakehal]

Shortly afterwards authorities cordoned off the site of the attack with bomb squads and sniffer dogs carrying out investigations.

Rome's prosecutor has also opened an official investigation into the incident.

In a related development police and bomb disposal experts also deployed to the nearby Piazza di Porta Capena on Friday morning – a matter of streets away from the UN's Food and Agriculture Headquarters – after a reported bomb threat.

Local media reported that they later left the scene, with that threat reportedly a false alarm. 

Italian police told reporters that there was no immediate suspicion that Islamist terrorism was responsible for the blasts, with officers said to believe that the blast constituted "an act of protest".