Italian election: Chaos on the streets of Italy as riot police CLASH with antifascists

In the early hours of this morning an anti-fascist group targeted Milan sparking clashes with police.

Clad in riot gear, officers grappled with protestors who descended on a monument in a town square.

According to local media, the group then started a march that went from the castle to the cathedral.

The protesters brandished a banner saying “Partisan yesterday, today anti-fascists”.

This afternoon a series of marches are planned in Rome, with more than 20,000 people expected to attend.

A bleak economic forecast and growing immigration concerns have resulted in toxic election campaigns for the upcoming vote amid fears of a revival of neo-fascist sentiment.

Ahead of the clashes police commissioner Guido Marino said: “We have two objectives – guarantee a high standard of counter-terrorism prevention and prevent violent groups from infiltrating the marches with negative consequences for order and security.”

Tensions have escalated ahead of the national election in two weeks time, as right-wing Lega Nord Matteo Salvini has pledged large scale deportation of refugees.

He vowed to deport 500,000 migrants within five years if his party wins the election – including 100,000 in the first year.

(Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.)