Italian police broke up a gang of neo-Nazis and arrested 16 people on hate crimes charges.
The arrests took place early Thursday in several towns in northern Italy’s largely German-speaking Alto Adige, or South Tyrol, region. In an operation code-named Odessa, police arrested individuals ranging in age from 17 to 27 on charges of inciting discrimination, hatred and violence based on race, ethnicity and nationality.
The gang members are suspected of at least eight episodes of violence. Police said the group held meetings in a forest cabin decorated with Nazi symbols and banners. They staged ritual initiation ceremonies for new recruits and had contact with skinhead groups in Austria, Switzerland and Germany.