Lyon-Turin rail line opponents arrested

Italian police on Thursday placed under house arrest nine militants opposed to a high-speed rail link between Turin and Lyon ahead of planned protests against the project next week, Italian media said.

Two of the activists are accused of taking part in an attack on a group of journalists covering a protest earlier this year and the seven others are being investigated for breaking into the offices of a company working on the project.

Four more anti-rail link activists have been banned from living in Turin.

The long-delayed project has been agreed by the Italian and French governments and is scheduled for completion in 2023. It has become a major flashpoint for the anti-government protest movement in Italy in recent years.

Opponents of the project plan to protest during a Franco-Italian summit next week in Lyon, where French President François Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti are expected to discuss the issue.

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