A group of Muslims who prayed in front of the Colosseum during a protest march against the Israeli offensive in Gaza this weekend was accused of threatening behaviour by centre-right politicians on Monday.

Around 50 Muslims knelt with their backs to the Roman amphitheatre and prayed towards Mecca during the march on Saturday, refueling a row over a similar incident that took place in front of Milan's Duomo earlier this month, also during a Gaza protest.

"The pseudo-prayers in Milan and in front of the Colosseum are nothing to do with religion - they are threatening and intimidatory acts towards the Italian people," said Maurizio Gasparri, Senate whip for Premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PDL) party.

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