Iraq killing report ‘insult’

ITALIAN opposition parties branded a report that cleared US soldiers of blame for the killing of an Italian agent in Iraq an insult and urged the government to press for a fuller investigation.

Nicola Calipari, a military intelligence officer, died in a hail of bullets at a US checkpoint on March 4 as he was driving to Baghdad airport with Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena after winning her release from kidnappers.

A US Army official, briefing reporters in Washington, said the soldiers had followed their rules of engagement and should therefore face no charges of dereliction of duty.

The probe was conducted jointly with the Italians but the army official said Italy, a close ally in Iraq, had baulked at endorsing the report.

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