Police say uncover plot to create new Nazi party in Italy

Italian police have uncovered a plot to form a new Nazi party and seized a cache of weapons during searches across the country.

Police in 16 towns and cities from the Mediterranean island of Sicily to the Alps in the north took part in the investigation, launched two years ago.

The probe revealed a quote "huge and varied array of residents, united by the same ideological fanaticism and willing to create an openly pro-Nazi, xenophobic and anti-Semitic movement," a police statement said.

The new party was called the Italian National Socialist Party of Workers.

Uncovered was a range of Nazi paraphernalia, with swastikas and pictures of Adolf Hitler, seized during a search of 19 properties.

Weapons including pistols, hunting rifles and crossbows were also found.

The group had forged links with extremist groups abroad, with Portugal, Britain and France amongst them.

There are no details on how many people joined the group or how many arrests were made.

In Italy, "defense of fascism" and efforts to revive fascist parties are considered crimes.