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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 April, 2003, 15:33 GMT 16:33 UK
Italian 'Unabomber' strikes again
Italian police outside Treviso Hospital
The girl is under observation in hospital

A prosecutor in northeastern Italy said on Saturday that a booby-trap blast which maimed a nine-year-old girl was carried out by a mysterious serial attacker known as the "Italian Unabomber".

The girl, who has yet to be named, lost three fingers and risks losing the sight of an eye after a pen exploded in her hands while she was playing on the banks of the River Piave in San Biagio di Callalta.

Her friend was also slightly injured in the blast.

Dozens of people have been injured over a period of almost 10 years in a series of attacks in the region which have left the population terrrorised and police with few concrete leads.

Public Prosecutor Giovanni Cicero told the Rome daily La Repubblica said: "The attacker's modus operandi carries his signature. It was the Unabomber. This time, the Unabomber has caused more damage than he could imagine."

The scene of the crime
Italian police are looking for clues

The Italian media has dubbed the unknown attacker "Unabomber" after the original US Unabomber - former mathematician Theodore Kaczynski - who carried out letter bomb attacks for over 18 years, resulting in the deaths of three people and injuries of over 20 others.

Kaczynski received four life sentences in 1998.

Targeting children

Kaczynski's elusive Italian counterpart has been planting explosive devices in everyday products such as eggs, tomato paste and mayonnaise.

Devices have also been concealed in objects to be found in public places such as a pot of ornamental flowers in a cemetery or a small tube on a beach.

The attacks appear to be casual and motiveless. No attempt at extortion has been reported so far.

More recently, however, the attacker seems to be targeting children. The latest booby traps included a container of bubble mixture and a jar of Nutella.

Correspondents say that such is the level of public paranoia in the area that, at least initially, every blast in the region is attributed to the work of the "Unabomber".

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.




SEE ALSO:
Unabomber timeline
28 Jan 98  |  Unabomber
Profile: Theodore Kaczynski
28 Jan 98  |  Unabomber
Unabomber gets life
04 May 98  |  Unabomber


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