State honours for slain Italian agent

The body of an Italian security officer, killed in Baghdad after American troops fired at the convoy of freed journalist Giuliana Sgrena, has been sent back to Rome.

    Nicola Calipari was killed by US troops in Baghdad

    Nicola Calipari, 51, was hit in the head on Friday as he was trying to protect the journalist from a hail of bullets by US troops firing at the convoy attempting to carry her to safety.

    Draped in the Italian flag, the coffin with Calipari's remains was carried from a military aircraft at Rome's Ciampiono airport late on Saturday with full military honours.

    Sgrena and two other Italian agents who travelled in the same vehicle were wounded in the incident.

    Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi and Pope John Paul II hailed the officer as "a hero" who saved Sgrena's life.

    Mourners

    The Italian president cut short a visit to Naples to oversee the ceremony at the airport.

    At Ciampi's side stood Calipari's devastated wife Rosa Maria, the couple's 19-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son as well as Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

    Calipari, who was head of the Italian intelligence mission in Iraq, had been involved in negotiations leading to Sgrena's release after a month in captivity.

    Italians will be able to pay their last respects to Calipari when he lies in state on Sunday at the Vittoriano, Italy's national monument, before a state funeral scheduled for Monday.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.