Italy PM Berlusconi smacked in the face at rally

A man attacked Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi this evening at a rally, striking the 73-year-old politician with either his hand or an object and bloodying his face.

Berlusconi was knocked to the ground by the blow, and then hastily helped into a car by aides. He appeared slightly dazed after the incident, left the car immediately and attempted to climb onto it to show supporters that he was not badly injured. As Berlusconi climbs up, handlers try to shield his bloodied face from the crowd with jackets.

Berlusconi was greeting supporters in a square in Milan when the attack occurred. There were reportedly confrontations between supporters of the Italian PM and hecklers, and the BBC reports that Berlusconi addressed the detractors at the rally, saying:

“They paint me as a monster, but I don’t think I am one – firstly because I am good-looking and secondly because I’m a decent chap.”

Berlusconi was reportedly taken to a Milan hospital and is said to be under observation for 24 hours. No information was released on the extent of his injuries.