Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says a suicide bomber was plotting to kill him when he recently attended a football (soccer) match.

The prime minister, who owns the AC Milan football club, disclosed the plot in an interview with the Libero newspaper, but declined to say when the purported threat took place. He gave no other details.

The newspaper interview appeared a few days after another, televised interview, in which Mr. Berlusconi, a staunch U.S. ally, said he had tried to dissuade President Bush from launching an invasion of Iraq.

Italy currently has some 3,000 troops serving in Iraq. Mr. Berlusconi told Libero Italian troops are not occupying Iraq, but are there instead to keep the peace with United Nations approval.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.