Lava flows from Mount Etna in spectacular display

Lava flows from Mount Etna in spectacular display
Italy's Mount Etna lit up the night sky in the early hours of Friday, spewing lava and ash high over Sicily.

Europe's highest and most active volcano burst into life at 3am (CEST) with eruptions sending rivers of smoking red lava streaming down its southeastern slope.

Seismic activity began to rise on Thursday evening, peaking around midnight and decreased over the following hours.

Fissures in the 3,330 metre-high peak can flare into action several times a year, although the last major eruption was in 1992.