Turns out the Italian journalist/hostage freed in Iraq today was safer as a captive.
U.S. forces fired at a car carrying Italian reporter Giuliana Sgrena shortly after her liberation, wounding some of the passengers, the journalist’s newspaper said on Friday.
“She was going in a car to the airport with three people from the Italian security forces. U.S. forces opened fire on the car. She is fine but there are wounded,” Il Manifesto’s editorial director Francesco Paterno told Reuters.
Italian news agency ANSA said Sgrena had been wounded in the shoulder and added that one of the Italian secret service agents had been killed. Another news agency, AGI, said Sgrena was being treated in a Baghdad hospital.
UPDATE: The Italians are not happy.
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has asked the U.S. ambassador for an explanation about the shooting death.
“Given that the fire came from an American source I called in the American ambassador,” Berlusconi told reporters. “I believe we must have an explanation for such a serious incident, for which someone must take the responsibility.”
And the fellow killed in the incident was not some inconsequential “haji” on the street.
The editor of Il Manifesto, Gabriele Polo, said the secret service agent was killed when he threw himself over the freed hostage to protect her from fire, according to Apcom. He also said Sgrena was in the hospital but was not seriously injured.
[snip] [French terrorism expert Frederic] Helbert said the agent killed was the chief of staff of Italian intelligence in Baghdad.