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Italian authorities defuse car bomb ahead of soccer match with Switzerland

A car bomb was discovered near an Olympic stadium in Rome Wednesday evening shortly before the Euro 2020 soccer match between Italy and Switzerland, according to local reports. 

A passer-by saw a suspicious package inside a smart car parked in the Prati district and alerted authorities, Corriere dello Sport reported. The area was particularly crowded because of the upcoming game at Olimpico Stadium.

A view of the stadium prior of the Euro 2020 soccer championship group A match between Italy and Switzerland at the Rome Olympic stadium, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Riccardo Antimiani, Pool)

A view of the stadium prior of the Euro 2020 soccer championship group A match between Italy and Switzerland at the Rome Olympic stadium, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Riccardo Antimiani, Pool)

A bomb squad arrived on the scene shortly before 6 p.m. local time and traffic shut down in the surrounding area. 

Authorities successfully defused the bomb and no one was injured. Police said the bomb appeared to have been homemade.  

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The Rome-based Il Messaggero newspaper reported that the bomb consisted of a cylinder of gunpower, with shrapnel embedded and electric wires. 

Investigators determined the car belonged to Marco Andrea Doria, president of the board for the redevelopment of parks and historic villas in Rome. 

It was unclear if the car bomb had any connection to the tournament. 

Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi noted the seriousness of the situation, writing on Twitter that she was in “solidarity” with Doria. 

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The game between Italy and Switzerland proceeded at 7:45 p.m. local time. An investigation is ongoing. 

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