Shoot-out on train snares Red Brigade 'assassins'
Italian police arrested two suspected Red Brigade terrorists yesterday after an officer was killed in a shoot-out on a train. The arrest of Nadia Desdemona Lioce, 43, and Mario Galesi, 37, could prove a breakthrough in the investigation of two Red Brigade assassinations over the past four years. Both suspects have been charged with the May 1999 killing of Massimo D’Antona, a labour law expert. The couple were on a train from Rome to Florence when they were approached by railway police making routine identity checks. Witnesses said one of the officers was moving away to check the couple’s documents with the police computer when Lioce suddenly pulled a pistol and pointed it at the other officer’s throat. During the ensuing struggle, police officer Emanuele Petri, 48, was shot dead and his colleague, Bruno Fortunato, 46, seriously wounded. Galesi was also wounded in the spleen and subsequently had an operation. His companion, who was uninjured, was overpowered by a third officer and an off-duty traffic policeman. Lioce declared herself a “political prisoner” and refused to answer prosecutors’ questions. “I have never seen a woman with such a glacial look,” the traffic policeman said. The arrests come just two weeks before the 25th anniversary of the Red Brigades’ kidnapping of Aldo Moro, their most sensational operation and the high point of the organisation’s strength. The Marxist terrorists, who began their activities in the early 1970s, aimed to create a revolutionary state through armed struggle and to separate Italy from the Western Alliance. They seized Moro, the chairman of the dominant Christian Democrat Party, on 16 March 1978 and executed him after holding him prisoner for 55 days. Full Story