An attack on a gay bar in Rome is said to signal an escalation of violence against the LGBT community in the city.

Police said that two letter bombs were thrown at the bar, located in the capital’s gay neighbourhood, from two passing motorcycles.

Several people were reportedly hurt, with one taken to hospital.

“It all happened very quickly unleashing panic in the streets. There were people screaming and running everywhere,” said Fabrizio Marrazzo, the president of Italy’s gay rights organisation, Arcigay.

The organisation said that there could have been fatalities if people had been closer to the explosions.

There have been reports of violent attacks on at least five gay or lesbian people in the city in the last few weeks.

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