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UN asked to investigate US shooting of Italian journalist and military intelligence officer

Reporters Without Borders today called for a UN investigation to shed light on the circumstances in which the US military fired on a vehicle carrying the newly freed Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena yesterday in Baghdad, injuring Sgrena and killing an Italian military officer accompanying her.

"A thorough investigation must be quickly carried out by the United Nations into this blunder with tragic consequences," Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said.

"It is clear that his enquiry cannot be conducted just by the US army which in the past, especially in the case of the Palestine Hotel shooting that killed two journalists, produced reports aimed solely at exonerating the military," Ménard said, adding, "we demand to know the full truth about this distressing affair."

Reporters Without Borders had voiced "extreme disappointment" about the report of the US army's enquiry into the April 2003 Palestine Hotel shooting, which cleared the coalition forces of any fault or negligence.

In yesterday's incident, the convoy of cars taking Sgrena back to Baghdad following her release from captivity was fired on by US military at a checkpoint near the airport. One of the Italian military officers protecting her was killed and at least one other was wounded. Sgrena was wounded in the shoulder.

The US military have claimed that the soldiers involved respected procedures and warned the convoy to stop before opening fire. A Pentagon official has said an investigation will be conducted into the incident.

... Payvand News - 3/6/05 ... --

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