State TV showed Mr Berlusconi with blood on his lips as he was lifted to his feet by aides. A spokesman for Mr Berlusconi said he didn’t immediately have any information about the incident, which happened after the premier delivered a long, rousing speech to his conservative supporters this evening.
The attack occurred after Berlusconi had just finished delivering a long, vigorous speech at the rally to a crowd of applauding supporters from his Freedom People party at about 6:30 p.m.
Officials at Milan’s police headquarters, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, said the premier was conscious and apparently not badly injured. They said the attacker was wielding a miniature statue of Milan’s Duomo, the city’s gargoyled cathedral and symbol, but couldn’t say what the souvenir was made of.
Police identified the man they were questioning as Massimo Tartaglia, 42. They said Tartaglia didn’t have any criminal record.
The attack occurred at a difficult political time for Berlusconi, who has been plagued by scandals.