UK & World News
Gunmen Shoot Boss Of Italian Nuclear Firm
Masked gunmen on a motorbike have shot the boss of a nuclear company in the leg as he left his home in northern Italy, police have said.
Roberto Adinolfi, chief executive of Ansaldo Nucleare - majority owned by Italian defence conglomerate Finmeccanica - was shot in the port city of Genoa.
Two men on a black Yamaha motorbike wearing helmets fired three shots, fracturing Mr Adinolfi's right knee.
Mr Adinolfi, 59, underwent surgery and was in good condition, Italian media reported.
Genoa chief prosecutor Michele Di Lecce told reporters he could not rule out that the shooting was an act of "domestic terrorism".
"But we are also considering other possibilities. No-one has claimed responsibility," he said.
The incident is reminiscent of politically-motivated violence that raged in the country in the 1970s and 1980s.
Shooting people in the legs was a trademark practice of the Red Brigades, a left-wing guerrilla group that carried out a campaign of murder and kidnapping aimed at destabilising Italy and known as "the years of lead".
One investigative source told news agency Reuters that one of the first attacks by the Red Brigades in the 1970s had targeted managers of the same company.
"It could turn out to be a symbolic gesture," he said.
Politicians from all sides were quick to condemn Mr Adinolfi's shooting, some of them blaming a growing "climate of hatred" in the recession-hit country.
"We hope investigators can find as quickly as possible those responsible for an act that takes us back to a very sad chapter of Italian history," said politician Lorenzo Cesa of the centrist UDC party.
Mr Adinolfi has been CEO of Ansaldo Nucleare since 2007.
Finmeccanica chief executive Giuseppe Orsi said, if terrorism was confirmed, the attack "represents a signal of alarm not to be underestimated" in terms of the difficulties brought on by the financial crisis.
He also decried any attempt to use the financial crisis "for ideological ends".
Austerity measures by the government of Prime Minister Mario Monti to control Italy's huge public debt have caused mounting resentment.
Protests, however, have generally been peaceful and there have been no real signs of organised political violence.
A string of suicides, notably among businessmen suffering financial problems, has underlined the human cost of the crisis.