US orders inquiry into hostage attack

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The US-led coalition in Iraq has ordered a follow-up investigation into the fatal shooting of an Italian intelligence officer as he accompanied a former hostage to Baghdad's airport last week.

The US-led coalition in Iraq has ordered a follow-up investigation into the fatal shooting of an Italian intelligence officer as he accompanied a former hostage to Baghdad's airport last week.

Nicola Calipari was killed on Friday when US troops at a checkpoint fired at the car carrying him and the freed Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena to the airport after Sgrena's release from a month in captivity.

Sgrena, a fierce opponent of the war and a frequent critic of US policy who works for the Communist newspaper Il Manifesto, was recovering yesterday in hospital in Rome from a shrapnel wound to the shoulder.

The US has said that soldiers at a Baghdad checkpoint "attempted to warn the driver to stop by hand and arm signals, flashing white lights, and firing warning shots in front of the car," it said. "When the driver didn't stop, the soldiers shot into the engine block, which stopped the vehicle, killing one and wounding two others."

But the Italian Foreign Minister, Gianfranco Fini, told his parliament yesterday that the car was not speeding and was not ordered to stop by American troops at a checkpoint. Mr Fini said the vehicle was well-lit to facilitate checks.

The White House has described the shooting as a "horrific accident". A coalition forces statement said: "The follow-on investigation to the initial inquiry into the incident is expected to take approximately three to four weeks to complete".

Comments