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ROME -- The director of a Rome office of Italy's tax collection agency was wounded in the hands and eyes on Friday after opening a letter bomb, Italian police said.

The man was hospitalized but the extent of his injuries were not immediately known. The police were investigating what they said was a stapled package mailed through the Italian postal system.

Prosecutors in Rome have opened an investigation into whether the letter bomb's senders had terrorist aims, the ANSA news agency reported.

The explosion in Italy comes a day after German authorities intercepted and defused a package bomb mailed to the chief executive of Deutsche Bank, Josef Ackermann. An Italian anarchist group, the Informal Anarchist Front, claimed responsibility for that package. the German authorities said. The same group claimed responsibility for a series of letter bombs sent to foreign embassies in Rome last December, seriously injuring two people.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti issued a statement of solidarity with the injured man, and for the tax collection agency Equitalia, which Monti said had "always done its duty, in full respect of the law" and performed "an essential function" for the Italian state.

Italy has stepped up its tax collection efforts as part of a 30 billion euro austerity package aimed at eliminating Italy's budget deficit by 2013.