Dead Men Left

Saturday, March 05, 2005

The Times (to be registered under mind-boggling incompetence):

AN ERUPTION of joy in Italy over the rescue last night of an Italian woman held hostage in Iraq gave way to shock and anger as it emerged that US troops had mistakenly fired on the secret service convoy rushing her to the airport.

Giuliana Sgrena, the freed hostage, was shot in the left shoulder, while the Italian secret agent who shielded her with his body was killed. Pier Scolari, Signora Sgrena’s partner, said she had been “nearly murdered by the Americans” as she emerged from the clutches of Iraqi terrorists...

Signora Sgrena, 56, works for the left-wing daily Il Manifesto, where staff erupted in “applause and tears” when news of her release came through. “It’s an exceptional day,” said her father, Franco Sgrena.

But Gabriele Polo, the editor of Il Manifesto, said: “What should have been a moment of celebration has been ruined by this firefight. An Italian agent has been killed by an American bullet. It is a tragic demonstration that everything that is happening in Iraq is completely senseless and mad.”