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Friday, March 4

Freed Journalist Fired on by U.S. Troops

Mar 4, 3:23 PM (ET)

ROME (AP) - A freed Italian hostage was injured and an Italian intelligence officer killed Friday after a U.S. armored vehicle fired on a car in which they were riding in Iraq, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said.

Berlusconi, an ally of the United States who has kept troops in Iraq despite public opposition at home, said he has asked the U.S. ambassador for an explanation.

"Given that the fire came from an American source I called in the American ambassador," Berlusconi told reporters. "I believe we must have an explanation for such a serious incident, for which someone must take the responsibility."

The shooting occurred Friday at a roadblock near the airport. Berlusconi confirmed that the former Italian hostage, journalist Giuliana Sgrena, was injured by shrapnel. She was taken to a U.S. military hospital by U.S. troops, where she had a minor operation on her left shoulder to remove a piece of shrapnel, he said.

Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said a shooting incident occurred as the Italian woman was being brought into U.S. military control at Camp Victory, the U.S. military base near Baghdad International Airport.

He offered no other details, including whether anyone was killed or who did the shooting.

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