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American citizens arrested in Rome after police officer killed

Mario Cerciello Rega

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Polizia di Stato

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Mario Cerciello Rega was a vice brigadier in the Carabinieri police force

Two US citizens have been arrested after a police officer was stabbed to death in the centre of Rome.

Mario Cerciello Rega, 35, was with a colleague when they confronted two suspected thieves in the Prati district in the early hours of Friday.

It is thought that a group of men had stolen a man’s bag, before arranging to meet him and return it in exchange for €100 (£90; $111).

When two men turned up, they were met by the officers.

One of the men produced a knife and stabbed Cerciello Rega repeatedly before they fled.

The two arrested Americans are thought to be linked to the mugging, but not to the stabbing, Italian reports say.

Cerciello Rega was a vice brigadier in Italy’s paramilitary Carabinieri police force who had been married only 43 days. He had returned from his honeymoon only this week.

The killing shocked Italy and prompted tributes from across the country.

Hours after his death became known, Italian police stopped their cars outside the general headquarters of the Carabinieri and sounded their sirens in tribute to the officer.

American citizens arrested in Rome after police officer killed

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