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TooFarGone

U.S. Forces Wound Freed Italian Hostage in Iraq

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TooFarGone

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena was freed by her captors on Friday but U.S. forces in Iraq (news - web sites) mistakenly opened fire on the convoy taking her to safety, wounding her and killing an Italian secret service agent.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, one of President Bush (news - web sites)'s staunchest supporters in Iraq, immediately summoned the American ambassador, demanding explanations and declaring someone had to take responsibility.

U.S. forces at a checkpoint shot dead the agent and wounded Sgrena in the shoulder while she was being driven to Baghdad airport after being freed and handed over to three Italian secret service officers, Berlusconi told a news conference.

"We were turned to stone when the officials told us about it on the telephone," Berlusconi said.

"The agent, Nicola Calipari covered Sgrena with his body, he was hit by a bullet which unfortunately was fatal," he said. All three other passengers were wounded. Sgrena was treated for a shrapnel wound in her shoulder at a U.S. military hospital.

Read the rest of the article here.

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__Kratos__

If the driver had just slowed down for the checkpoint... I mean those soldiers are on the guard for suicide bombers, car bombs, road-side bombs and other terrorist action. The soldiers that fired upon that car were right to do so. They were taking out a present threat. They didn't know it wasn't a threat so they fired.

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Fluffybunny

If it is true that the car was approaching too fast and not slowing down, then the guards were absolutely right to stop it anyway they could.

Keep in mind that car bombers have been using the same techniques in order to get past checkpoints to get into critical crowded areas to detonate bombs in crowded areas.

It is rather sad though...

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Stellar

This is stupid...

The soldiers are to shoot the vehicles which do not obey their orders... because those vehicles are most likely carbombs... then the media gets ahold of an insident like this and subtly makes it seem like the soldiers made a mistake, and this makes the rest of the soldiers hesistate the next thing something like this happens.... and then they get blown up.

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Mekorig

Its look like the italians warned the US command about the arrival of the convoy, and that they were going fast. They were sure that the USA knew what they were.....another friendly fire incident,luckly the woman lives, and an italian hero was created.

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Talon

Freed Italy hostage arrives home

Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena has arrived in Rome a day after being rescued from her Iraqi kidnappers - and wounded by US gunfire in Baghdad.

Draped in a blanket, Ms Sgrena looked weak as she struggled off the plane before heading by ambulance to a military hospital in Rome.

US President George W Bush has pledged to fully investigate the shooting, in which an Italian security agent died.

Ms Sgrena was abducted on 4 February. It is unclear how she was released.

Some Italian press reports say a ransom was paid.

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, one of President Bush's staunchest allies, held an hour-long meeting with the US ambassador in Rome on Friday after demanding to know why US troops at a checkpoint fired on the car carrying Ms Sgrena to safety.

No celebration

The prime minister and other dignitaries joined family members to welcome Ms Sgrena to Rome's Ciampino airport.

Walking slowly and with some help, Ms Sgrena made no comment as she went into the ambulance.

She is expected to undergo further surgery for shoulder injuries she received in the shooting incident.

"Giuliana is relatively well," Ms Sgrena's partner, Pier Scolari, told Italian news agency Ansa.

Her father said Ms Sgrena had "been tested, but she's alive".

Gabriele Polo, head of Sgrena's left-wing newspaper Il Manifesto met her on the plane and said she was "physically exhausted".

"But she is happy, of course she was happy to be back home."

The reporter told her colleagues that her captors "never treated me badly", Ansa said.

Il Manifesto says a peace rally will be held in Rome later on Saturday - in lieu of what would have been a celebration of her release.

The death of one of Italy's most senior intelligence officers in the shooting, Nicola Calipari, cast a pall of gloom over what should have been a joyous occasion, says the BBC's David Willey in Rome.

Mr Calipari is being portrayed as a national hero in Saturday's Italian press for his courage in saving Ms Sgrena's life by shielding her with his body.

Diplomatic incident

This is a serious diplomatic incident between the US and Italy, our correspondent says.

"The prime minister expects that, in the spirit of the particular friendship that characterises relations between Italy and the United States, the US government leaves no stone unturned to shed light on what happened," said a statement from Mr Berlusconi's office.

President Bush has telephoned Mr Berlusconi to offer his condolences and apologies.

He "assured Prime Minister Berlusconi that it would be fully investigated," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

On Friday evening, the car carrying Giuliana Sgrena and three Italian security agents towards the airport came under fire as it approached a checkpoint in western Baghdad.

US military officials in Baghdad say troops tried to stop the speeding car - making hand signals, flashing lights and firing warning shots - before firing at the vehicle's engine.

A little-known militant group, Islamic Jihad Organisation, had said it kidnapped Giuliana Sgrena and demanded that Italy withdraw its troops from Iraq.

The same group said in September it had killed two Italian aid workers, Simona Torretta and Simona Pari - but they were later released by another organisation.

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/worl...ast/4321181.stm

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Talon

US to investigate hostage shots

George W Bush has pledged to fully investigate the shooting of an Italian hostage who came under fire after being rescued from her kidnappers in Iraq.

An Italian security agent who had helped rescue journalist Giuliana Sgrena was killed in the shooting.

Italy's prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has demanded to know why US troops at a checkpoint fired on the car carrying Ms Sgrena to safety.

Ms Sgrena has been discharged from hospital and is flying back to Italy.

Mr Berlusconi, one of President George W Bush's staunchest allies, held an hour-long meeting with the US ambassador in Rome and afterwards said he wanted to know who was responsible.

Under fire

"The prime minister expects that, in the spirit of the particular friendship that characterises relations between Italy and the United States, the US government leaves no stone unturned to shed light on what happened," he said in a statement.

Mr Bush spoke to Mr Berlusconi during a five-minute telephone call during which he expressed regret about the incident.

He "assured Prime Minister Berlusconi that it would be fully investigated," according to White House spokesman Scott McClellan, who added that the US were co-operating closely with Italian authorities.

An Italian military plane has been sent to Baghdad to collect Ms Sgrena.

On Friday evening, the car carrying Giuliana Sgrena and three Italian security agents towards the airport came under fire as it approached, at speed, a checkpoint in western Baghdad.

US military officials in Baghdad say they tried to stop the car - making hand signals, flashing lights and firing warning shots - before firing at the vehicle's engine.

Anger and anguish

Nicola Calipari, an agent who had helped negotiate Ms Sgrena's release, was hit as he tried to shield her body from the gunfire.

Ms Sgrena was injured in the shoulder during the shooting and was later treated by coalition forces.

In the Italian capital, the ancient Roman colosseum was lit up to celebrate the homecoming of the award-winning journalist, kidnapped over a month ago.

But the celebratory mood on the streets and in the offices of her left-wing newspaper, Il Manifesto, was tempered by anger and anguish as news of what had happened in Baghdad emerged.

"It's incredible that a man who was busying himself with the difficult task of saving a life was killed by those who say they are in Iraq to safeguard the life of civilians," said Piero Fassino, leader of the Democratic Party.

Communist Senator Gianfranco Pagliarulo urged people to turn up outside the US consulate in Milan to demonstrate against the attack.

Earlier, a video was broadcast on the Arabic al-Jazeera satellite network showing an apparently healthy Ms Sgrena, 57, thanking her captors for the way they treated her during her month in captivity.

A little-known militant group, Islamic Jihad Organisation, had said it kidnapped her and demanded that Italy withdraw its troops from Iraq.

The same group said in September it had killed two Italian aid workers, Simona Torretta and Simona Pari - but they were later released by another organisation.

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/worl...ast/4320961.stm

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TooFarGone

I know that the soldiers are trained to shoot at vehicles going fast but I think this was a bit to......I dont know. I mean, they knew that she was on here way.

Stupid war.

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Scorpius

Where was all the cummincation going? I don't think the rescue mission was well planned as it seemed. Maybe the Italian security agents were overly excited to get to safety. blink.gif

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Michelle

That's so true Blue-Scorpion... huh.gif

If they had been obeying standard protocol they would have passed through safely. blink.gif

Jeremy, how many vehicles do you think pass through a check point at any given time? I know I have no clue.

And I agree, "Stupid war."

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Talon

Hostage recalls 'hail of gunfire'

Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena has described how she came under a "hail of gunfire" moments after being released from her Iraqi abductors in Baghdad.

Ms Sgrena, who was wounded in the incident, has been sent to a military hospital in Rome for an operation.

She denied US military accounts that the car was speeding past a checkpoint when it was fired upon.

The body of Italian security agent Nicola Calipari, who died in the incident, has now arrived in Rome.

He will be given a state funeral on Monday, and a street in the centre of the city has already been named after him.

US President George W Bush has pledged to fully investigate the shooting.

Ms Sgrena was abducted on 4 February. It is unclear how she was released.

Some Italian press reports say a ransom was paid.

'Terrible thing'

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, one of President Bush's staunchest allies, has demanded to know why US troops fired on the car carrying Ms Sgrena to safety.

"There was suddenly this shooting, we were hit by a hail of gunfire, and I was speaking with Nicola, who was telling me about what had been happening in Italy in the meantime, when he leaned towards me, probably also to protect me," Ms Sgrena told Rai radio.

"I was especially shocked because we thought that by then the danger was past," she said.

"And then he collapsed and I realised that he was dead."

She said the shooting continued "because the driver wasn't even managing to explain that we were Italian".

"So, it was a really terrible thing."

Asked if the car was going too fast when the US troops opened fire, she said: "We weren't going particularly fast given that type of situation."

This is a serious diplomatic incident between the US and Italy, says the BBC's David Willey in Rome.

President Bush has telephoned Mr Berlusconi to offer his condolences and apologies.

He "assured Prime Minister Berlusconi that it would be fully investigated," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

No celebration

The prime minister and other dignitaries joined family members to welcome Ms Sgrena to Rome's Ciampino airport.

Walking slowly and with some help, a tired Ms Sgrena struggled to a waiting ambulance.

Her left-wing newspaper Il Manifesto says a peace rally will be held in Rome later on Saturday.

The death of one of Italy's most senior intelligence officers in the shooting cast a pall of gloom over what should have been a joyous occasion, says our Rome correspondent.

Mr Calipari is being portrayed as a national hero in Saturday's Italian press for his courage in saving Ms Sgrena's life.

A little-known militant group, Islamic Jihad Organisation, had said it kidnapped Giuliana Sgrena and demanded that Italy withdraw its troops from Iraq.

The same group said in September it had killed two Italian aid workers, Simona Torretta and Simona Pari - but they were later released by another organisation.

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/worl...ope/4321913.stm

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AztecInca

And sadly another innocent person dies during this war!

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Mekorig

by US "friendly" fire.... tongue.gif

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Babs

The soldiers had to do it. This is sad, though, really sad. sad.gif

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lightbeyondthedark

Yeah that really sucks and I feel bad for the families... But we have to remember it is a hostile area, and sometime accidents happen... We are all just human in fact...

I would hope the thought of accidently killing someone would be enough punishment for anyone... I am sure the soldiers feel it..

LBD

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joc
The soldiers are to shoot the vehicles which do not obey their orders... because those vehicles are most likely carbombs... then the media gets ahold of an insident like this and subtly makes it seem like the soldiers made a mistake, and this makes the rest of the soldiers hesistate the next thing something like this happens.... and then they get blown up.

Nothing more to say....Stellar said it all. thumbsup.gif

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dmgspycat

Stellar, do you know what paper she was working for? It was a democratic one. She was exposing things about the US led invasion that the US Military didn't like. I mean the propaganda these people arew stuffing down our throats with the likes of FOX News is disgusting. There have been a lot of deaths of reporters by US forces already and do you know what they all had in common? Thet were trying to tell the whole story...so take of your patriotic blinders Stellar. Besides, the operation to rescue this Italian reporter was known to our military allready so what gives? Guess it was a miscommunication? Yeah right.

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Stellar
Stellar, do you know what paper she was working for? It was a democratic one. She was exposing things about the US led invasion that the US Military didn't like.

Yes... I'm sure the soldiers there knew that if the car was speeding at them not obeying their orders.

There have been a lot of deaths of reporters by US forces already and do you know what they all had in common?

We're not talking about all the deaths, we're talking about this one. As you see, the reporter is alive...

Thet were trying to tell the whole story...so take of your patriotic blinders Stellar.

Im not being patriotic... Im not even american... I'm being realistic. If I volunteer for a TOD somewhere with the CF, I dont care if thats a Canadian, American, Christian or Muslim in the car speeding at me... chances are I wont even think of whos in it... I'll follow ROEs to the letter and do what I need to to protect myself.

But, obviously the american soldiers are telepaths and knew that there was a friendly in the car speeding at them... there was no reason for them to worry and no reason for them to fire at the vehicle. rolleyes.gif

Besides, the operation to rescue this Italian reporter was known to our military allready so what gives? Guess it was a miscommunication? Yeah right.

And as such, the driver should have known to obey the checkpoints. When you see a speeding car comming at you, you dont say "Well, theres a friendly comming in, that might be him speeding at us and not obeying orders... lets risk our lives and assume its him even though he's not following orders... "

Im sorry, but I dont think that the car driving at them was labelled in big letters "This is a friendly, dont shoot"... and even if it was, there still would be what reason to *disobey* ROEs trust that thats not a carbomber?

If ROEs state that if someone is walking towards you, you say "Stop!", then if he keeps comming, you load your mag and scream out "Stop!" again, if he's still comming, you fire a warning shot... if he's still comming, you put him down... YOU DO THAT. You dont let the person keep comming towards you, you put him down.

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bathory
Stellar, do you know what paper she was working for? It was a democratic one. She was exposing things about the US led invasion that the US Military didn't like.

isn't it a communist newspaper?

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Talon
isn't it a communist newspaper?

I see the word 'left-wing', your the only one who read communist. And despite your attempted inclinations, that does not stop it being democractic. Despite what you seem to think no matter how many times you are corrected, modern universal-sufferage democracy is a left-wing not right-wing creation.

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Vallheru

Usual U.S. soldiers "slopiness". Can't understand why you people pay all these money to have incompetent soldiers around. They get killed by car bombers or shoot innocent people who are trying to escape...very efficient. By the way, why are you there in the first place? Anyhow, I don't want to get into a debate with some ignorant American who hasn't been out of his state....loss of time.

I am happy that my country has not much oil to speak of....otherwise, we would be invaded already in order to have "democracy"...the funny thing is that we have created democracy....that would be a paradox....

If they are scared, they shoul not be in a check-point in hostile territory but having a beer at home. Then again, they never have to call their victims families to tell the good news so, hell, shoot away boys!!!

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bathory
see the word 'left-wing', your the only one who read communist. And despite your attempted inclinations, that does not stop it being democractic. Despite what you seem to think no matter how many times you are corrected, modern universal-sufferage democracy is a left-wing not right-wing creation.

no, but it more than likely means she has an agenda, especially towards the US and the Bush administration...thus in the context of dmgspycats comment

"Stellar, do you know what paper she was working for? It was a democratic one."

he's trying to make it seem as though the newspaper is some beacon of light, with no agenda other than to spread the truth. Regardless the paper has been described as a communist daily paper (note the article isn't using this in a negative fashion)

Who knows!

Despite what i think? where have i said otherwise? please i'd love to see some quotes.

Edited by bathory

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Talon

ANY papaer can equally be argued to have an agenda depending on the views of its editors. If you want to moan about this, why not instead of discussing an issue ever, instead lets all complain for 3 pages about the the agenda of the source.

And I sorry, but I don't see how what paper she worked for is relevent to subject about how she was abducted, rescued and then shot at.

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bathory
ANY papaer can equally be argued to have an agenda depending on the views of its editors. If you want to moan about this, why not instead of discussing an issue ever, instead lets all complain for 3 pages about the the agenda of the source.

And I sorry, but I don't see how what paper she worked for is relevent to subject about how she was abducted, rescued and then shot at.

i was replying to a point dmgspycat made...keep trying though talon, one day.

incidentally though, she did claim that she was shot at intentionally

"The fact that the Americans don't want negotiations to free the hostages is known," the 56-year-old journalist told Sky TG24 television by telephone, her voice hoarse and shaky. "The fact that they do everything to prevent the adoption of this practice to save the lives of people held hostage, everybody knows that. So I don't see why I should rule out that I could have been the target."

Source: My Way News

that looks like the "evil amerikkka" agenda talking:)

ANY papaer can equally be argued to have an agenda depending on the views of its editors.

wow thanks talon, such a wonderful peice of insight. Now in the context of dmgspycats glowing comments about her, and the OBVIOUS bias such a far left publication would hold... (not kill capitalists far left, boo hoo hoo), it somehow makes me less inclined to trust her publication and her claims as the beacon of truth dmgspycat portrays it to be.

Edited by bathory

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Talon
wow thanks talon, such a wonderful peice of insight.

You can cry sarcasm all you want, what I said is true, you can claim what your complaining about of any source.

far left publication would hold...

How can you be sure its far-left? I mean it possible is, but where do you read it was, or are you against just jumping on your bias and claiming anything left is extremist without needing any evidence to prove it. All I can see are her own quotes, and nothing that gives away the far-moderate placing of the paper itself.

(not kill capitalists far left, boo hoo hoo)

Are you even capable of making a mature post like any normal adult?

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