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Italian Journalist Freed

Discussion in 'News' started by Weapon X, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. Weapon X

    Weapon X 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Sep 6, 2002 Messages: 14,905 Likes Received: 202
    US Forces Wound Freed Italian Hostage in Iraq
    By Andrew Marshall

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

    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he had immediately summoned the U.S. ambassador, declaring someone had to take responsibility for U.S. soldiers opening fire.

    He told a news conference the agent was shot dead at a U.S. checkpoint and that Sgrena had been wounded in the shoulder.

    "This news which should have be a moment of celebration, has been ruined by this firefight," said Gabriele Polo, editor of the Communist Rome-based Il Manifesto newspaper.

    "An Italian agent has been killed by an American bullet. A tragic demonstration which we never wanted that everything that's happening in Iraq (news - web sites) is completely senseless and mad," he told Sky Italia television, struggling to fight back tears.

    The U.S. military had no immediate comment.

    The 57-year-old Sgrena was kidnapped on Feb. 4. Insurgents later released a video of her sobbing and wringing her hands as she pleaded for Italian troops to leave Iraq.

    In new video aired on Al Jazeera on Friday, Sgrena was shown wearing a black dress and sitting in front of a table with a plate of fruit. Jazeera said that on the tape, Sgrena thanked her captors for treating her well.

    Sgrena was one of two female Western journalists abducted in Baghdad this year. Florence Aubenas of France's Liberation was seized along with her Iraqi driver on Jan. 5.

    Aubenas appeared in a videotape distributed by her captors this week, looking distraught and exhausted.

    More than 150 foreigners, including several Western journalists, have been seized by insurgents over the past year. Most have been freed but many have been killed -- sometimes in beheadings that were filmed and posted on the Internet.

    The kidnappings have highlighted the lawlessness gripping large areas of Iraq where insurgents mount frequent attacks, crime is rife and Iraqi forces have little control.

    Last year, Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni was seized south of Baghdad and later killed by his captors.

    Six other Italians have been kidnapped in Iraq. Four private security guards were kidnapped in April and one was later killed, and in September two female Italian aid workers were snatched in Baghdad before being released three weeks later.

    The hostage crises have fueled criticism in Italy of the government's backing for the war in Iraq.
     
  2. Weapon X

    Weapon X 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Sep 6, 2002 Messages: 14,905 Likes Received: 202
    http://www.agi.it/english/news.pl?doc=2005...e-eng.oggitalia

    SGRENA: SCOLARI, IT WAS A PLANNED AMBUSH

    (AGI) - Rome, Italy, March 5 - An ambush is Pier Scolari's verdict on the shootout which the journalist from the Manifesto paper underwent whilst being freed yesterday. Scolari is Giuliana Sgrena's partner and was giving his theory on the shootout which cost the secret service agent, Nicola Calipari, his life in order to save Giuliana's. In fact, according to Pier Scolari, Giuliana had come to know about something that maybe the Americans didn't want divulged. "Please can the Italian government do something about this. Either it was an ambush, as I believe, because Giuliana had some information... or we are at the mercy of idiots, frightened boys who shoot at anyone they come across. All this has hit the headlines because it happened to Giuliana. But what about if it had happened to the Iraqis. Nobody would have known about it". (AGI)
     
  3. Weapon X

    Weapon X 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Sep 6, 2002 Messages: 14,905 Likes Received: 202
    AP

    "The U.S. military said the car she was riding in after her release was speeding as it approached a coalition checkpoint in western Baghdad on its way to the airport. Soldiers shot into the engine block only after trying to warn the driver to stop by "hand and arm signals, flashing white lights and firing warning shots," the military said."
     
  4. Weapon X

    Weapon X 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Sep 6, 2002 Messages: 14,905 Likes Received: 202
    US attacked Sgrena: companion

    05/03/2005 17:02 - (SA)

    Rome - The companion of freed Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena on Saturday levelled serious accusations at US troops who fired at her convoy as it was nearing Baghdad airport, saying the shooting had been deliberate.

    "The Americans and Italians knew about (her) car coming," Pier Scolari said on leaving Rome's Celio military hospital where Sgrena is to undergo surgery following her return home.

    "They were 700m from the airport, which means that they had passed all checkpoints."

    The shooting late on Friday was overheard by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's office, which was on the phone with one of the secret service agents, said Scolari. "Then the US military silenced the cellphones," he charged.

    "Giuliana had information, and the US military did not want her to survive," he added.

    When Sgrena was kidnapped on February 4 she was writing an article on refugees from Fallujah seeking shelter at a Baghdad mosque after US forces bombed the former Sunni rebel stronghold.

    Sgrena told RaiNews24 television Saturday a "hail of bullets" rained down on the car taking her to safety at Baghdad airport, along with three secret service agents, killing one of them.

    "I was speaking to (agent) Nicola Calipari (...) when he leant on me, probably to protect me, and then collapsed and I realised he was dead," said Sgrena, who was being questioned on Saturday by two Italian magistrates.

    "They continued shooting and the driver couldn't even explain that we were Italians. It was really horrible," she added.

    Sgrena, who was taken to hospital with serious wounds to her left shoulder and lung after arriving back in Rome on Saturday before noon, said she was "exhausted because of what happened above all in the last 24 hours".

    "After all the risks I have been running I can say that I'm fine," she said.

    "I thought that after I was handed over to the Italians danger was over, but then this shooting broke out and we were hit by a hail of bullets."

    The chief editor of Sgrena's left-wing newspaper Il Manifesto Gabriele Polo meanwhile branded Calipari's death a "murder".

    "He was hit in the head," he said.

    Calipari will be given a state funeral on Monday.

    Edited by trs

    http://www.news24.com/News24/World/Iraq/0,...1671944,00.html
     
  5. Weapon X

    Weapon X 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Sep 6, 2002 Messages: 14,905 Likes Received: 202
    Freed Italian Hostage Recalls U.S. Shooting

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...aly_shooting_dc

    ROME (Reuters) - Freed Italian hostage Giuliana Sgrena described on Saturday how U.S. forces sprayed her car with bullets as it neared safety in Iraq, wounding her and killing the man who had secured her release moments earlier.

    (...)

    The U.S. military said its forces fired because the car was speeding toward their checkpoint.

    But in comments reported by ANSA news agency, Sgrena told Rome investigating magistrates during a debriefing that the car was not going fast and there was no real checkpoint.

    "The firing was not justified by the speed of our car," she reportedly said, adding it was traveling at a "regular" speed.

    "It wasn't a checkpoint, but a patrol which shot as soon as it had lit us up with a spotlight. We had no idea where the shots were coming from."
     
  6. ASER1NE

    ASER1NE Veteran Member

    Joined: Oct 15, 2001 Messages: 7,578 Likes Received: 3
    I dont even know what to say to stories like this anymore .......... :rolleyes:
     
  7. haunts

    haunts Member

    Joined: Dec 23, 2004 Messages: 297 Likes Received: 0
    well one of my personalities thinks its hilarious. another one is trying to convince the others that it wasnt an accident. and the one that i am usually portreying to the public thinks its a travesty.

    but in all seriousness, if it wasnt an italian group of folks this never would have made the news, and the reporter that mentioned we never would have heard about it if they were iraqi was right.
    and excuse me, im ignorant of politics these days as opposed to the amount i was involved a year ago but why were we holding a journalist hostage again? i mean i know its common day practice to hold journalists hostage and all but damn. its pathetic these days how journalists dont even have the right to report anymore. well, unless of course its corporate imperialism based reporting and then its okay. or if its the news that george bush's cronies feed the public to keep them blind.
    this is a bunch of crap.

    okay, well this post gets a thumbs up in the spirit of keeping the people blind. yay!
     
  8. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2
    I heard a report on NPR about hungarian troops firing on us troops last friday as well. Strange. War is chaos. Hence the book about Special Forces entitled "Masters of Chaos".
    I've heard stories about one of the major mess halls in Afghanistan where all the coalition troops would go to eat and there would be all kinds of people crowded in there with all kinds of gear on and weapons slung every which way and some not even on safe bumping all into each other. There was a misfire in there every day.
    And yeah if you want to talk about bad reporting this book just came out Bad News
    The Decline of Reporting, the Business of News, and the Danger to Us All
    .
    Something I've always suspected. After all, just about anything profit driven you can't expect to be altruistic.

    *edit... I can't seem to fix this link. sorry.
     
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