Rome on high alert for Easter after series of terrorism raids and arrests by Italian police

Rome is on a state of high alert for Easter, with thousands of troops and police deployed to boost security in the capital after a series of arrests of alleged Islamist extremists raised fears of an attack.

The Islamic State has repeatedly identified the Vatican, the crucible of Western Christianity, as a potential target in its propaganda and has boasted of wanting to plant the black flag of the caliphate on top of St Peter’s Basilica.