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Italy 'vigilant' on terror threats

Acts of terror

(CNN) -- An Italian official has reiterated his government's vigilance over threats by terror groups angry at Italy's troop presence in Iraq.

Alfredo Mantovano, an undersecretary in the Interior Ministry, said Saturday that current threats require the country's "maximum attention against the possibility of terrorist attacks in Italy."

His remarks were reported to the Italian news agency ANSA.

He said the Italian security apparatus is doing all that is possible to counter terror dangers.

Mantovano said that even though there is no specific information about a threat, the chances of attempts cannot be excluded because of the breadth of the Islamic terror network.

He said that the threat "could also be a way of manipulating the general preoccupation in order to terrorize the population."

A statement was issued to the news media Saturday from Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, a group that claims links to al Qaeda. It said its units were ready to attack if Italy didn't remove its troops from Iraq before August 15.

Italy, which has been on a high state of alert for the past month, has tight security at key sites throughout the country.

Since the July 1, 18 threats have been issued against Italy by terror groups, the government said.

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