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Monday, September 22, 2003

From the Independent, a report on the shooting of an Italian diplomat's interpreter:

'"I was driving in a Land Cruiser with a second car behind," he [Pietro Cardone] says. "Saad and my driver were in the front of my car, my wife and I in the back. At 1.45pm we approached two American Humvees, both driving in the same direction as us." Mr Cardone's hands shake as he approaches the convoy again in his memory, now sitting in the lobby of the Rashid Hotel in Baghdad.'

'"Our driver started to overtake the first Humvee. The young soldier at the back made a gesture as if to say, 'Don't overtake, go back'. Perhaps our driver was slow and this created a suspicion in the soldier. We were five metres from him ­which was a bit close. The American soldier fired one shot from his machine-gun. That shot came through the car and hit Saad in the heart and came out of the back of the poor guy and scratched my arm and exited through the roof of the car." Then the Americans drove on. They didn't stop, Mr Cardone says.'

. . .

'Mr Cardone left Saad at the hospital and returned to Baghdad in their second car. "This morning, his sister and brother came to see me," he says. "They were very dignified. I expressed my sorrow and assured them the Americans would carry out a thorough investigation and that they would receive compensation. I am confident the Americans will have an investigation because they take these things seriously." Ask Mr Cardone for his opinion of what happened and he remains a diplomat. "I think it has been a needless death, generated by a misinterpretation of behaviour." Iraqis might interpret events differently.'

'"I hate the phrase," Mrs Cardone says. "But I think they call these things 'friendly fire'."'

Andrew 10:17 AM : |


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