A police officer shot in the neck while Italy’s new government was being sworn in is said to be in a serious condition.
He was one of two members of the Italian military police – known as carabinieri – to have been wounded after a gunman opened fire outside the prime minister’s office in Rome. The other officer was wounded in the leg.
At the time of the attack, new Prime Minister Enrico Letta and his government were less than one kilometre away at the presidential palace.
The man arrested at the scene has been named by police as Luigi Preiti. Preiti, 49, is said to be unemployed and from Italy’s poor southern region of Calabria.
Police say Preiti told them that he wanted to target politicians, but shot at the carabinieri when he could not find any. Preiti is also said to have told prosecutors that he was angry with politicians.
Soon after the attack, Angelino Alfano, who is deputy prime minister and interior minister, visited the seriously injured carabinieri in the hospital.
Describing the officer’s condition, Dr Amalia Allocca, at Policlinico Umberto I Hospital said: “Tests showed that the bullet touched the upper part of his spinal column. Further tests are being conducted. He is still in a serious condition.”