Freed Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena was wounded when US troops opened fire on a convoy carrying her to safety, and an Italian mediator who help negotiate her release was killed, her newspaper Il Manifesto said on Friday.

 

"She was going in a car to the airport with three people from the Italian security forces. US forces opened fire on the car. She is fine but there are wounded," Il Manifesto's editorial director Francesco Paterno said. 

 

Sgrena was taken to a US-run hospital for treatment for wounds to her shoulder, the newspaper said.

 

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi confirmed late on Friday that US troops had fired on Sgrena's convoy as it approached a checkpoint.

 

Shot dead

 

Berlusconi's office also announced that the US ambassador to Italy had been summoned over the matter.

"US forces opened fire on the car. She is fine but there are wounded"

Francesco Paterno,
Il Manifesto's editorial director

 

"As the fire came from American forces, I decided to summon the US ambassador immediately," Berlusconi told a news conference.

 

The mediator, an Italian secret service agent, was shot dead in the incident, Il Manifesto said.

     

Sgrena, 56, was kidnapped by armed men near Baghdad University where she had been interviewing refugees from last year's US assault on Falluja.

 

Il Manifesto's editorial director Francesco Paterno said he had been informed of Sgrena's release by an Italian official in charge of the secret service.

 

 "It's been confirmed. Gianni Letta confirmed it. They have her," said Paterno, without giving any further details.

 

Italy's President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi also confirmed that Sgrena had been released.