Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena freed

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Friday, March 4, 2005

Giuliana Sgrena was freed from captivity in Iraq today. The Italian journalist was abducted in Baghdad exactly a month ago while she had been reporting for Il Manifesto.

The Islamic Jihad Organisation had taken her hostage on the 4th February with the demand that Italy withdraw all of its troops from Iraq. On February 16, a video was released with a clearly distraught Mrs Sgrena begging for Italy to withdraw from Iraq. However despite the video, the Italian Senate voted to extend its miltary forces' stay in Iraq.

The reason for her release is unknown. Some Italian journalists have suggested that the Italian government paid a ransom.

Later on Friday, Sgrena's newspaper reported that U.S. forces fired at a car carrying the reporter shortly after her liberation, killing an Italian secret service agent. The editor of Il Manifesto newspaper, Gabriele Polo, was reported by Reuters as saying that Sgrena's car was fired on as it made its way to Baghdad airport. "This news which should have be a moment of celebration, has been ruined," Polo told Sky Italia television.

"An Italian agent has been killed by an American bullet. A tragic demonstration which we never wanted that everything that's happening in Iraq is completely senseless and mad," he added.


Sources

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