Incidents » Conflicts

Italian hostage shouted, "I will show you how Italian dies!" before being executed

After receiving the cassette with the images of the execution the first of the four Italian hostages – 36-year old Fabritsio Kuattrokki - Al-Jazeera decided not to broadcast the images because of their extreme atrocity.
Italian Ambassador in Qatar and Italian Foreign Minister saw the images. 
Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said in a Reuters interview about the lat minutes of life of Kuatrokki, “When the killers pointed the gun at his head, this man tried to take the hood off his head and exclaimed, “I will show you how an Italian dies! Then they killed him”.

”He died as a hero”, said Italian Foreign Minister.
The message of Iraqi terrorists was attached to the cassette. The terrorists said that the hostage was killed because Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had refused to withdraw 2,700 Italian troops from Iraq. “He is not interested in the souls of Italian hostages, he wants to please his masters from the White House”, the hostage-takers said.
They stipulated one more condition for releasing the hostages: setting free all arrested in Iraq radical Muslems supporting as-Sadr and Makhdi Army.

 Al-Jazeera reported that Italians had been captured by Al-Katiba al-Khadra (Green Batallion) Iraqi group in Al-Falluja. The combatants threatened "to kill the captured Italians one by one until our demands are satisfied”.

The Italian man did not tell his relatives that he was going to Iraq 
Fabritsio Kuatrokki lived in Genoa and worked in IBCA guard agency. He did not want to frustrate the mother and told her that he was living for Kosovo, and went to Iraq in November 2003.

All the captured Italians were civilians working for the US guarding agency in Iraq.

However, the hostage-takers claim that the captured Italians were the spies of the occupation forces.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said that the murder of the Italian hostage in Iraq will not influence the efforts taken by Italy to establish peace in this country.
”They destroyed the man’s life, but failed to destroy our values and our efforts on the way to peace”, said Italian Prime Minister in his statement. 

Previously the Cabinet of Silvio Berlusconi and the opposition from "Olive Tree" leftist coalition had arguments if deploying Italian troops in Iraq was expedient.  However, after the death of the hostage all Italian politicians said that the extremists’ demands should never be fulfilled.

Earlier Italians were the promised that their fellow-countrymen would not be executed
Two of the Italians working in Iraq – Valeria and her colleague Paolo – after taking Italians hostages decided to visit Mohammed al-Khabiba, the Head of Rabia clan and the leader for 144 other tribes living in the South of Iraq, in the area of Basra, Ramadi and Al-Falluja where the hostages are allegedly detained.

The start of the negotiations was not easy.  Long period of silence when the Italians were treated with tea, artificial smiles, handshakes with many elders. However, two hours later the tension seemed to have alleviated.

"Your fellow-countrymen are feeling well. They are in good hands. No damage will be done to them when we are protecting them. We are men of honor. But you should put yourself in our shoes. What would you do if foreign country invaded Italy?”, asked sheikh Taleb al-Mokhendi who lives in Al-Falluja.

Later his words seemed to be an evil joke.

The two Italians said on the details of capturing their fellow-countrymen hostages.

"Our boss Salvatore Stefio departed with the three colleagues on Monday morning. They were supposed to go to Italy by plane, and he wanted to reach Italy as soon as possible. For April 18 the negotiations on guarding the Italian companies planning to work in Iraq, were scheduled", Valeria recalls.
Тhe people’s haste resulted in their being kidnapped. They drove in a SUV instead of the two Chevrolet Caprice vehicles they had reserved before and. Foreigners often use SUVs, and this vehicle is the primary target for terrorists and combatants.
The Italians left the city, but in the suburbs Americans stopped them and confiscated three heavy machine-guns because of the absence of proper license for them. They returned and took two pistols. It was very late for the trip – 10 pm, and the way to Amman takes 18 hours. Yet, they hit the road to Amman.
The Italians decided not to use the highway to Al-Falluja, but used the route Samarra-Tikrit. They were driving down the deserted road and then decided to make a turn to the highway going to Jordan through Ramadi. Probably, there the combatants dressed as policemen, stopped the Italians. Nobody heard from them after this.

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