03/04/2005, 00.00
Iraq - Italy
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Italian reporter Giuliana Sgrena released in Iraq

Rome (AsiaNews/ Agencies) - Italian reporter Giuliana Sgrena has been released in Iraq after being held hostage for a month. Her release was confirmed by the Italian government. Sgrena, who works for the Rome-based Communist daily Il Manifesto, was seized in the Iraqi capital on Feb. 4 as she conducted interviews in a refugee camp near Baghdad University. She was last seen in a video released on Feb 16. pleading for her life and urging U.S.-led forces to quit Iraq. Occasionally sobbing, Sgrena begged her family to put pressure on the Italian government to secure her release and warned foreigners to steer clear of the country.

Ms Sgrena 's release was obtained thanks to the work of the Italian secret service. According to some reports,  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. While Sgrena was freed, there was no word on the fate of French journalist Florence Aubenas, who was seized in Baghdad on Jan. 5. Aubenas made a desperate appeal for help in a video tape released by Iraqi insurgents on Tuesday. Dozens of Iraqi personalities have also been seized by various groups claiming to be insurgents, fundamentalists, ex baathists.
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See also
Bishop of Baghdad: "I share in your pain, but don't back down against terrorism"
The Iraqi Church never held back, says Bishop Warduni about reporter Giuliana Sgrena's release
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