10 injured in Rome explosion: Bomb damages flats in embassy district

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The Independent Online
ROME - An explosion shook a residential street in a wealthy district of Rome last night, and the national police chief said it was 'almost certainly' a car bomb, agencies report.

A police spokesman said no one appeared to have been killed, but 10 people were injured, one of them seriously. The blast was 'very likely caused by a device left in the street or under a car,' police said.

The blast set off a big fire in a six- storey building and shattered windows nearby, including a primary school across the street. Firefighters soon had the blaze under control.

'It was a car bomb. I was watching television when I saw a huge red glow outside the window. Then all the glass came flying in,' said Serenella Guerrieri, who lived on the fourth floor of the six-storey building which suffered the most serious damage. Pieces of masonry hung from balconies and windows in all nearby buildings were shattered by the blast.

The wreckage of several cars lay on their sides in flames. Hundreds of onlookers milled around as police warned them away, fearful of other car bombs at the site. About a dozen cars were damaged on the fashionable street of restaurants and shops.

The site of the blast was the Parioli district of embassies and restaurants and the area was plunged into darkness. A few miles away is the Foro Italico, where the Italian Open tennis championships are being played.