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The bomb was left outside a bookshop with ties to far-right group Casa Pound Cronache Maceratesi

A bomb disposal expert has been badly injured while attempting to deactivate an explosive device planted in Florence, Italy.

The bomb was left outside a bookshop with links to the Far Right activist group CasaPound. It was brought to the attention of police on Sunday (1 January) morning when the bookshop was closed.

As bomb-disposal technicians attempted to make the device safe, it exploded causing serious eye and hand injuries to one of the officers.

The bomb "is certainly political in nature with its objective and the characteristics of the building", police said, according to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

"It's the third attack in a year on the bookstore," Gianluca Iannone, president of CasaPound, said in a statement. "It was a clearly political attack."

Mayor of Florence Dario Nardella said authorities will catch whoever is responsible for the attack, but at present no groups or individuals have claimed it as their own.

He said: "What happened is very serious: the perpetrators must be brought to justice. Florence stands in solidarity with the injured officer."

The incident comes less than two weeks after Berlin Christmas market attacker Anis Amri was shot dead outside a train station in Milan.

Italy has suffered bombings blamed on right-wing and left-wing extremist groups since the 1970s, a decade marked by domestic terrorist attacks, including assassinations, kidnappings and bombings.

The neo-fascist CasaPound group has amassed around 5,000 members since being founded in Rome in 2003. Although it rejects the left-right dichotomy, the group is known for staging protests against the European Union and immigration, according to Deutsche Welle.