Equitalia, Rome, Italy, Police
A policeman stand in front of the entrance of an Equitalia office in Rome Reuters

Italian police believe that the letter bomb sent to a top tax official in Rome on Friday was the work of a far-left anarchist group.

Marco Cuccagna, director general of Equitalia, reportedly lost part of a finger and injured an eye when he opened a package at his office in Rome around mid-day Friday.

Equitalia is a state-run agency responsible for debt collection and recovering back-taxes. The Financial Times describes Equitalia as one of the most disliked state institutions in Italy, known for its heavy-handed methods in recovering unpaid taxes and fines.

Equitalia has always carried out and is continuing to carry out its duty in full respect of the law, Italy's new Prime Minister, Mario Monti, said in a statement following the explosion.

It is essential for the functioning of the state, without which it would be impossible to provide services to citizens.

The parcel bomb is so far being blamed on the group the Federazione Anarchica Informale, or the Informal Anarchistic Federation, in English, the revolutionary group that claimed responsibility for a similar bomb sent to Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Josef Ackermann on Wednesday.

Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno said that anarchists are trying to exploit the economic crisis that has so seriously afflicted the country this year, a statement echoed by a few politicians on Friday.

We are very worried about this morning's attack on Equitalia, said Emanuele Fiano, a parliamentarian from the Democratic Party of Italy.

We cannot be indifferent to the fact that this has happened at a time of extraordinary social problems for the country, he said. It is fundamental that democratic institutions are preserved, and protest and dissent are contained in a civil and peaceful confrontation.

The FAI has used letter bombs to attack financial and state institutions in the past. The group, which is allegedly an umbrella organization for a number of smaller extremist groups, attempted to bomb the European Central Bank by post in 2003 and was connected to the Greek anarchists who bombed the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome this time last year.

The FAI has also sent an explosive package to the Swiss Nuclear Energy Association in April, injuring two.

Along with the bomb sent to Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany on Wednesday, the FAI sent a note that promised three explosions against banks, bankers, ticks and bloodsuckers.