ROME (Reuters) - A suspected bomb was found on an empty underground train in Rome on Tuesday but police said it lacked a detonator and tests showed it contained no explosive.
The device was found by a driver preparing a train for service in a marshalling yard near the Rebibbia metro station, the transport authority ATAC said.
It was in a box with cables, batteries and antennas.
“The black powder contained in metal tubes in the suspect device is inert,” the carabinieri paramilitary police said in a statement late on Tuesday, after laboratory tests.
Earlier, a carabinieri spokesman said the device did not contain a detonator.
It was discovered at a time of increased tension in Italy after anti-government protests last week which descended into some of the worst violence in Rome for years.
A senior Iraqi official said last week al Qaeda was planning attacks in the United States, Britain and Europe around Christmas, which falls this weekend.
A suspected suicide bomber was killed in a botched attack in Stockholm on December 11. Police believe he was planning to attack a train station or department store at the height of the Christmas shopping season.
Reporting by Roberto Landucci and Catherine Hornby; editing by Andrew Dobbie