Italy criticized the U.S. military on Monday for failing to establish rules for checkpoints in Iraq, saying nervous U.S. troops manning a haphazard road block were to blame for the killing of an Italian agent near Baghdad.
In a 52-page report on the "friendly fire" incident, Italy said the shooting of intelligence officer &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/mailbox/d?count=30 ' target=_blank>Nicola Calipari was not intentional, but it took issue with U.S. findings released at the weekend that exonerated the American forces.
Calipari was shot by a U.S. soldier on the night of March 4, as he was escorting an Italian hostage to freedom on the notoriously dangerous road to Baghdad airport.
The U.S. inquiry into the incident, in which the newly freed journalist &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/accidents/21/93/375/15370_iraq.html ' target=_blank>Giuliana Sgrena and another Italian secret service agent were wounded, has determined that it was a "tragic accident" in which U.S. forces followed correct procedures, informs Reuters. The report differed from the US account issued Saturday, which exonerated the US soldiers who shot Calipari. The US investigators said the American soldiers gave adequate warning before opening fire on Calipari's car which was running on high speed.
But the Italian report blamed US military authorities for failing to provide warning that there was a roadblock ahead. It also rejected the US account of the speed of the vehicle, saying the car driven by Calipari was not going fast, tells Xinhuanet.
The General Staff noted that the document appeared at a time when Russia was trying to deter the arms race unleashed by the United States