Sgrena says U.S. may have fired on purpose

Giuliana Sgrena, the Italian reporter wounded on March 4 by U.S.-led forces after she was freed from her captors in Iraq, said the military may have targeted her deliberately.

Sgrena, 57, who had been held for one month in captivity, was injured and Italian intelligence officer Nicola Calipari was killed when coalition forces fired on their vehicle as it approached a Baghdad checkpoint.

Writing in Italy’s Il Manifesto newspaper, Sgrena said her kidnappers had warned her to pay attention once she was freed, because the U.S. wanted her dead. At the time, she judged their words to be “superfluous and ideological,” she wrote.

“They told me to beware because ‘there are Americans who don’t want you to return’,” Sgrena wrote in the article. When she was shot, her captors’ advice “risked acquiring the taste of the most bitter of truths,” she wrote.

The shooting was “without reason,” Sgrena said yesterday from a Rome military hospital, where she is being treated for her wounds, reported daily Corriere della Sera. “I cannot find any justification for it,” she was cited as saying.


Speaking from the Rome hospital where she is being treated, Sgrena said the troops may have targeted her because Washington opposes Italy’s reported readiness to pay ransoms to kidnappers.

“The United States doesn’t approve of this (ransom) policy and so they try to stop it in any way possible,” the veteran war reporter, 57, told Sky Italia TV.

Sgrena works for a Communist newspaper in Italy. Would the US have shot, say, a Wall Street Journal reporter under similar circumstances? I doubt it.