August 26, 2004

Italian Hostage Enzo Baldoni Murdered

For the latest news on hostages in Iraq please go to the MAIN PAGE HERE.

UPDATE: Italian hostage Salvatore Santoro Murdered by Terrorists in Iraq. News, information, and images here.
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benzo1.gifBastards. Fu**ing bastards. Can't they let one freaking day go by without murdering another hostage??? To make it worse, Enzo Baldoni was there with the Red Cross trying to help Iraq heal. I let my class out early for what? This story via M.H. King:

The hostage takers who grabbed Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni on the road between Baghdad and Najaf in Iraq have killed him, the Italian government confirmed Thursday.

"We can confirm it was him, unfortunately," a spokesman for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said.

Arabic language television channel Al Jazeera said Baldoni's kidnappers killed him because Italy refused to heed their earlier deadline to withdraw troops from Iraq.

"The group calling itself the Islamic Army in Iraq said they executed the Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni because Italy did not respond to their demand to withdraw troops from Iraq within 48 hours," the Arabic language channel Al Jazeera said.

Al Jazeera showed a video of Baldoni, 56, speaking to the camera in front of the group's banner, but no audio could be heard. The television said it would not air footage showing Baldoni's dead body out of respect for his family.

Berlusconi responded quickly with a statement reiterating his determination to keep Italian forces in the U.S.-led coalition and condemning Baldoni's killing.

"There are no words for an act lacking any humanity and which at a stroke cancels out centuries of civilization and takes us back to the dark ages of barbarity," he said.

Italian newspapers said Baldoni and his driver-interpreter were caught in an ambush between Baghdad and Najaf, scene of a Shi'ite rebellion. His driver was found dead Saturday.

Tuesday, the Islamic Army in Iraq gave Italy 48 hours to withdraw its 2,700 troops from Iraq or Baldoni would be killed.

Italy, which has the third-largest foreign military contingent in the country, refused to bow to the kidnappers' demands.

As well as a reporter for the Milan-based weekly "Diario," Baldoni was volunteering for the Red Cross while in Iraq, his daughter, Gabriella Baldoni, told Italian television on Wednesday.

"He was trying to save human lives in Najaf by helping a Red Cross convoy in a spirit of solidarity which has always underscored his thinking and his actions," she told RAI television.
Four other Italians have been taken hostage in Iraq since militants began employing the technique in April to pressure U.S. allies and businesses to leave the country.

One of them, civilian security guard Fabrizio Quattrocchi, was shot dead. The three others were released unharmed.

The Islamic Army in Iraq claimed responsibility for the death of an Iranian diplomat in Iraq earlier this month and showed the man in a videotape. It also was reported to have killed two Pakistani hostages in July.

Just two days ago Burlesconi told the terrorist vaffanculo! Italy reemphasized that stance today. Expect updates.

Others Blogging: M.H. King, Jane, Diggers Realm, Jeff Quinton

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 07:01 PM | Comments |