July 320, 2008
ROME, July 29 (Xinhua) — The Italian government launched on Tuesday a scheme that will deploy 3,000 troops in major Italian cities to help patrol the streets, local media reported.
Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni and Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa unveiled the six-month pilot scheme, which will start on Monday.
They said the army, air force, navy and Carabinieri would work alongside police.
A total of 2,000 troops will be placed at the disposal of 16 mayors to guard black spots and immigration holding centers in cities including Rome, Milan and Naples.
Some units will watch “sensitive” sites in Rome, Milan and Naples — 51 in the capital, 20 in Milan and one in Naples.
The remaining 1,000 will patrol the streets of Bari, Catania, Milan, Naples, Padua, Palermo, Padua, Rome, Turin and Verona.
The last time Italy put soldiers on the streets was to fight a crime wave in Naples in 1997.
Troops were also deployed in Sicily after a Mafia bomb campaign in 1993-1994.
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