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Freed Italian hostage says U.S. tried to kill her


March 6 (Bloomberg) -- Giuliana Sgrena, the Italian reporter wounded on March 4 by U.S.-led forces after she was freed from her captors in Iraq, said the military may have targeted her deliberately.

Sgrena, 57, who had been held for one month in captivity, was injured and Italian intelligence officer Nicola Calipari was killed when coalition forces fired on their vehicle as it approached a Baghdad checkpoint.

Writing in Italy's Il Manifesto newspaper, Sgrena said her kidnappers had warned her to pay attention once she was freed, because the U.S. wanted her dead. At the time, she judged their words to be "superfluous and ideological,'' she wrote.

"They told me to beware because 'there are Americans who don't want you to return','' Sgrena wrote in the article. When she was shot, her captors' advice "risked acquiring the taste of the most bitter of truths,'' she wrote.

U.S. President George W. Bush telephoned Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on March 4 to express regret about the incident and offer cooperation in an investigation, according to White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini yesterday to reiterate the U.S. will do all it can to uncover what happened, la Repubblica reported today.

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