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(Milan)  —  A 42-year-old man with mental problems threw a souvenir plaster statuette at Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi [[ bur-luhs-COH-nee ]] on Sunday.  The attack broke the prime minister’s nose and two teeth, leaving him bleeding.  The 73-year-old Berlusconi had just concluded a speech at a Milan cathedral.  Later at a hospital, Berlusconi told the media that he was fine, adding it was “miraculous” that he did not lose an eye in the attack.  Berlusconi was kept overnight.  The Italian suspect, identified as Massimo Tartaglia, has been under treatment for mental problems for ten years.  Berlusconi is used to items being hurled at him.  In 2004, an Italian bricklayer threw a camera tripod at him, injuring him slightly on the head.  This past year, Berlusconi has faced accusations of having an improper relationship with a teenager and for attending parties with escorts.  He also faces charges of corruption, bribery and tax fraud.

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Glenn Swain/mm

Copyright © 2009

Metro Networks Communications Inc., A Westwood One Company 

12-14-2009 01

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