Italy deploys army to help clear snow

Italy has sent hundreds of soldiers to the streets of Milan to help ease circulation after heavy snowstorms and freezing temperatures closed airports and grounded trains, stranding thousands of commuters and holiday shoppers.

The Defence Ministry said today that about 600 soldiers had begun to shovel snow, while another 200 would be deployed in coming hours.

Snowfall has wreaked havoc in Milan, Italy’s financial capital, and elsewhere in the north.

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled after airports were shut, and thousands of train passengers have been stranded at railway stations or on carriages, often without heating, according to Italian news reports.

The bad weather was forecast to continue.

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