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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION).
Sicily's Mount Etna erupts for the first time in 2012, spewing lava and volcanic ash into the sky but causing no damage or air traffic interruptions.
Europe's tallest and most active volcano erupted in the early hours of Thursday (January 5), spewing out lava and volcanic ash.
The eruption, which began at 04:34 a.m. local time (0343GMT), presented no risk to villages nearby and air traffic remained normal, local media reported.
Researchers at the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said the lava flow centred in the summit area of the volcano, originating from the New South East Crater.
According to Italy's official Ansa news agency the volcano later sent out out a 5000-metre-high column of volcanic ash.
Etna, which is located above the Sicilian town of Catania, often erupts but rarely causes damage.