US Wounds Italian Hostage, Kills Intelligence Man
Guerrillas Kill 4 Marines
The US military on Friday fired on the car carrying a just-released Italian journalist who had been taken hostage. AP says that the troops wounded journalist Giuliana Sgrena and killed “the Italian intelligence officer who helped negotiate her release . . .” Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi demanded an explanation. ([Early reports said] The car had been rushing toward a checkpoint and did not slow down. [It is now being denied by Ms. Sgrena that the car was rushing toward a checkpoint, making the behavior of the US troops hard to understand.]
US military forces have killed innocent Iraqi civilians at such checkpoints on a number of occasions, and, indeed, statistics for spring-summer 2004 show that the US was responsible for killing more Iraqi civilians than did the guerrillas. I cannot remember interim PM Iyad Allawi reacting as stiffly to such incidents as Berlusconi just did.
Guerrillas killed four Marines in Anbar Province west of Baghdad on Friday, as the US military continued its operations there.