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Deadly fireworks mar Italy's New Year festivities

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Deadly fireworks mar Italy's New Year festivities


Two men have been killed and nearly 600 other people have been hurt as Italians celebrated the New Year with massive displays of illegal and homemade fireworks.

Some 2,000 cities, towns and villages had banned them this year, but police say they still seized thousands of tonnes of deadly explosive devices, including more than 1,000 rocket launchers.

The most serious incident took place in Rome when a 31-year-old man lit a large firecracker which blew up in his apartment before he could throw it out the window. Several others were wounded including at least three children when the firecracker set off other fireworks in the apartment.

A 39-year-old man was killed by a stray bullet in Naples as people fired guns into the air in celebration. The victim himself was setting off a barrage of fireworks in front of his restaurant.

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