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Italian Police Conduct Coordinated Raids Against Left-Wing Anarchists – Reports

© REUTERS / Manuel SilvestriItalian masked police officers patrol in St. Mark's square in the Venice lagoon, Italy, March 24, 2016.
Italian masked police officers patrol in St. Mark's square in the Venice lagoon, Italy, March 24, 2016.  - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Police officers in a number of Italian cities have conducted coordinated raids against left-wing anarchists who are accused of participating in the anti-TAV movement, which is protesting against the construction of a controversial high-speed railroad between Turin, Italy and Lyon, France, the ANSA news agency reported.

According to the ANSA news agency, police undertook operations against the Askatasuna movement in Turin, as well as groups in Modena, Venice and Padua. A judge issued 14 preventive detention warrants against suspects who were targeted in the raids.

The Turin-Lyon high-speed railroad has been a hotly contested issue in Italy since preliminary tunneling began in 2002. In August, a political crisis emerged as the Five Star Movement party voted against the project’s continued construction which angered then-coalition partner, the Lega Party, ultimately leading to the coalition's collapse.

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The cost of the Turin-Lyon high-speed line is expected to be upwards of 25 billion euros ($27.8 billion). The project will consist of the construction of the world’s longest rail tunnel, the 35.7 mile Mont d’Ambin Base Tunnel.

The line was proposed in order to provide faster passenger transport while also decreasing carbon emissions by reducing the amount of road freight traveling across the Alps, but many rural residents who live on the railroad’s proposed route have protested against the project.

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