14 alleged neo-fascist extremists arrested in Italy

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Italian police arrested 14 people on charges of terrorism on Monday, local media reported.

The operation was ordered by prosecutors in the central city of L'Aquila, and some 50 raids were carried out in several regions by officers of the Special Operations Group (ROS) of Italy's military police, ANSA news agency said.

At least 31 other people were also put under investigation.

All people involved in the probe were allegedly members of a far-right extremist group planning "violent actions against institutional targets", according to prosecutors.

The people charged would have belonged to an Italian banned movement called "Ordine Nuovo" (New Order), which had been founded as a far-right political and paramilitary group in 1969 and dissolved by the government in 1973 as an attempt to re-form the fascist party.

The group had kept working underground and several of its members were believed to be involved in terrorist attacks across Italy in late 1960s and 1970s, though very few of them received a final conviction in court.

Some of the people arrested on Monday would have planned violent attacks against judges, police forces, ministers, and public offices in order to destabilize "the order and the peace of the State", prosecutors said at a press conference.

According to investigators, the group aimed to act with a dual strategy: carry out destabilizing actions across the country, and exert a capillary effort to infiltrate institutions by taking part in the elections as a proper political party.

The investigation would have provided evidence of the group trying to procure weaponry through "an already planned robbery and through international illegal channels", police said.

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