Police officers shot as new Italian Government sworn in

The scene is cordoned off in Rome following the shooting. Credit: REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Two Italian police officers have been shot and seriously injured near the Prime Minister's office in Rome.

The attack, in which a passer-by was also injured, came as Italy's new government was being sworn in after two months of political deadlock.

A man was arrested at the scene and was taken into custody. The alleged gunman told investigators he acted out of anger with politicians, Reuters reported, citing a prosecutor working on the case.

ITV News Reporter Sejal Karia reports:

"His intention was to strike politicians", deputy Rome prosecutor Pierfilippo Laviani said after the incident.

The alleged shooter has been identified by police as 49-year-old Luigi Preiti, an unemployed man from the southern region of Calabria.

Eyewitness Fanuel Morelli described the shooting near the Italian prime minister's office:

Both police officers remain in hospital, with one undergoing surgery to remove a bullet from his neck, which surgeons say touched the upper part of his spinal cord.

Italy's new Prime Minister Enrico Letta described the shooting outside the premier office as a "tragic gesture" of an unemployed man.