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Italian Killed By U.S. Forces In Iraq After Journalist Freed

4 March 2005 -- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says an Italian security agent was killed in a U.S. checkpoint shooting as he escorted an Italian journalist released by militant captors in Iraq today.

Berlusconi also says that the journalist -- Giuliana Sgrena -- was wounded in the mistaken shooting. Berlusconi told a news conference that he has summoned the U.S. ambassador in Rome for an explanation since "the fire came from American forces."

Gabriele Polo, editor of the released journalist's newspaper, "Il Manifesto," gave the name of the dead agent as Nicola Calipari.

A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad has confirmed the shooting. Lieutenant Colonel Mike Caldwell said "coalition forces...fired on a vehicle approaching a checkpoint in Baghdad at a high rate of speed." He said one person in the car was killed. Sgrena is being treated at a Baghdad hospital and her injuries are reportedly not life-threatening.

Sgrena, who is in her mid-50s, was kidnapped on 4 February. Insurgents later released a video of her sobbing and wringing her hands as she pleaded for Italian troops to be pulled out of Iraq.