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Bomb Explodes Outside Rome Church Ahead of French President’s Visit

Image: Carabinieri stand near the church Saint-Yves des Bretons after a small explosive device went off
Carabinieri stand near the church Saint-Yves des Bretons after a small explosive device went off during the night on January 24, 2014 in Rome. "A handmade bomb went off at 2:30 am (0130 GMT), damaging three parked cars and the windows of a nearby building," a police spokesman told AFP. "There has been no claim of responsibility," he said. The blast happened in Vicolo della Campana and an official at the secretariat of France's embassy to the Holy See said the small street only had the church of Saint-Yves des Breton and a restaurant on it. TIZIANA FABI / AFP - Getty Images

A small bomb exploded close to a French church in Rome in the early hours of Friday hours before French President Francois Hollande was due to visit Pope Francis, Italian police said.

A police spokesman told Agence France-Presse that no one had claimed responsibility for the blast, which happened during a time of tight security at the Vatican ahead of the visit.

"A handmade bomb went off at 2:30 a.m. (8.30 p.m. ET), damaging three parked cars and the windows of a nearby building," the spokesman told the news agency.

The explosion happened in Vicolo della Campana and an official at the secretariat of France's embassy to the Holy See said the small street only had the church of Saint-Yves des Breton and a restaurant on it.