Italy detains 3 in seizure of weapons, missile, Nazi plaques

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Police in northern Italy have detained three men, including one linked to a neo-fascist Italian political party, after uncovering a huge stash of automatic weapons, a missile and material featuring Nazi symbols.

Police said the arrests stemmed from a year-long investigation into Italians who took part in the Russian-backed insurgency in Ukraine's Donbass region.  Police had been wiretapping and trailing the suspects.

In a statement Monday, Turin police said one of the men arrested had in 2001 run unsuccessfully as a Senate candidate for the neo-fascist Forza Nuova party. At his home in Gallarate, police found nine assault weapons, nearly 30 hunting rifles, pistols and bayonets as well as ammunition and antique Nazi plaques featuring swastikas.

Two other men were detained after police found a French-made missile at an airport hangar that they apparently were seeking to sell.  One was Swiss and the other Italian, according to police.

The anti-terrorism sections of the police headquarters of Varese, Pavia, Novara and Forlì-Cesena also participated in the operation.  They said the missile did not have an explosive installed but had a "resettable" charge.

With the Associated Press.