Rome

Justice minister opens inquiry into tear gas claims

Video showed canisters being fired onto protesters

Justice minister opens inquiry into tear gas claims

Rome, November 16 - Italian Justice Minister Paola Severino on Friday opened an internal inquiry into claims that tear gas was fired from the ministry building during Wednesday's heated anti-austerity demonstrations in central Rome. The probe comes in response for calls for clarification after La Repubblica newspaper published an amateur video showing three tear gas canisters being fired in quick succession on the passing protesters from the second floor of the ministry in Via Arenula. There is speculation that the canisters may have been fired by penitentiary police in service at the ministry. However Severino on Friday said ''early checks show that tear gas canisters of the kind that appear to have been fired from the ministry are not available to the penitentiary police department in Via Arenula'', adding however that ''controls will continue with the greatest commitment, necessary rigour and maximum speed''.

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