Iraq: Four US troops dead as Italy furious over shooting incident
Four American troops were killed west of the Iraqi capital in Anbar province, where US forces launched a massive sweep two weeks ago to, the US military said Saturday. The soldiers were killed "while conducting security and stability operations." Another soldier was killed in a vehicle accident near Tikrit.
AFP reported that six Iraqi soldiers were killed after their base came under mortar attack.
Meanwhile, US President Bush expressed regret over the killing of an Italian intelligence officer who helped negotiate a journalist's release and wounding her at a U.S. checkpointand. The US leader promised to investigate the incident, the White House said.
Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi demanded an explanation "for such a serious incident, for which someone must take the responsibility." Berlusconi said three Italians were also wounded - the reporter Giuliana Sgrena and two intelligence officers. One of the officers was in serious condition with an apparent lung injury, according to the Italian Apcom news agency.
Berlusconi identified the dead intelligence officer as Nicola Calipari and said he had been at the forefront of negotiations with the kidnappers. The prime minister said Calipari had been involved in the release of other Italian hostages in Iraq in the past. "It's a shame that the joy we all felt was turned into tragedy," Berlusconi was quoted as saying.
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