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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 March, 2005, 19:09 GMT
Hostage's shooting 'no accident'
Giuliana Sgrena
Sgrena was injured in the shooting, which killed an Italian agent
Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena has said she cannot accept US troops accidentally fired on her car after her kidnappers freed her in Baghdad.

Ms Sgrena told the BBC Americans guarding Baghdad airport might not have been informed about her arrival, but their actions could not be excused.

Earlier, she suggested US troops might have deliberately tried to kill her.

The US military, who said troops fired on the speeding car after it failed to stop, has opened a full investigation.

I am very very sad, I am very painful for him [Nicola Calipari]
Giuliana Sgrena

An Italian secret service agent, Nicola Calipari, who negotiated Ms Sgrena's release, died as he shielded Ms Sgrena from the shots.


Ms Sgrena told BBC News she could not say "why they shot at us in this way".

"But it's a very big responsibility and we ask a response on what happened," she said.

"It can't be just said that it was just an accident. We can't accept this, it is not possible."

She said Italian officials knew her car was on the airport road and she assumed they had informed the Americans.

US: Forces fired on a vehicle that was approaching at high speed
Troops attempted to warn the driver to stop by hand and arm signals, flashing white lights, and firing warning shots
When the driver didn't stop, the soldiers shot into the engine block

Sgrena: The driver had spoken twice to the embassy and to Italy that we were on our way to the airport
We were less than a kilometre [from the airport]... when... I remember there was shooting
The driver began screaming that we were Italian
We weren't going particularly fast given that type of situation

She could not say if she was deliberately shot at "because we can't say if there was misinformation, but also misinformation in this case is a responsibility because you are in a war field".

"You have to have the responsibility to pass immediately any information and the information was given to the Italians that we were on the road so I think that they have given the information to tell the Americans that we were on the road."

Earlier, in another interview with Sky Italia TV, she said it was possible the soldiers had targeted her because Washington opposed the policy of negotiating with kidnappers.

"Everyone knows that the Americans do not like negotiations to free hostages, and because of this I don't see why I should exclude the possibility of me having been the target," she said.

And writing in her left-wing Il Manifesto newspaper, she said upon her release her kidnappers warned her to be careful 'because there are Americans who don't want you to go back'."

State funeral

Ms Sgrena paid tribute to Mr Calipari, whom she described as "a very special man" who gave her hope.

Italian media say at least 10,000 people have visited Rome's Vittoriano monument, where the body of Mr Calipari, who is being treated as a national hero, is lying in state.

He will be given a state funeral on Monday.

Calipari's coffin arrives in Rome

"I am very very sad, I am very painful for him," she said.

The incident in Baghdad threatens to have continuing political fallout in Rome, says our correspondent there, David Willey.

Pressure will grow on Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a staunch ally of US President George W Bush, to reconsider the wisdom of keeping on Italian peacekeepers in Iraq, our correspondent says.

Already, the Italian foreign ministry has warned all Italian nationals to avoid travel to Iraq.

Ms Sgrena was abducted on 4 February, and later appeared in a video begging for help and urging foreign troops to leave Iraq.

Much of the country was opposed to the US-led war in Iraq and the government's decision to send 3,000 Italian troops to Iraq.

Italy honours 'national hero' Calipari

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