MILAN - Two fire bombs were thrown at the offices of Italy’s tax enforcement agency Equitalia in the port city of Livorno early on Saturday, police said, the latest in a string of attacks on one of crisis-hit Italy’s symbols of austerity. Firemen were called in after one  of the two petrol bombs landed on the doorsteps of the Equitalia building, police told Reuters. Nobody was hurt. Public anger against Equitalia has been rising after a wave of highly publicised suicides by small businessmen in Italy, where the government of Mario Monti has increased taxes along with the retirement age to fight spiralling public debt.

Last week, a 54-year-old businessman burst into an Equitalia office and held an official hostage at gunpoint for several hours before surrendering to police.

An anarchist group has also targeted Equitalia with letter bombs in recent months, wounding the director general of the agency in December.

The same anarchist group claimed responsibility for shooting the head of a nuclear engineering group in the leg in the port city of Genoa earlier this week, an act reminiscent of Red Brigade-style political violence that raged across Italy in the 1970s.