ROME, Sept. 19 (Xinhuanet) -- Piero Cordone, an Italian diplomat and
member of the provisional US-led administration in Iraq, escaped unhurt after
American troops reportedly opened fire on his car near a military roadblock,
Italian Foreign Ministry sources confirmed on Friday.
The incident happened Thursday afternoon when the car carrying Piero
Cordone approached a road block between Mossul and Tikrit, the hometown of
toppled Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein.
Cordone's Iraqi interpreter was reportedly killed.
The American authorities have expressed their regret for the
incident, the details of which are still unclear.
Cordone, an Arabic expert and specialist in Middle East
affairs, is the senior adviser on cultural affairs in the provisional authority
He is the only non-American on the 14-strong team of officials.
The 70-year-old Egyptian-born diplomat has served as Italian
ambassador to Yemen and
the United Arab
Emirates and was a
member of the first United Nations weapons inspections team sent to
Iraq in the
He is already nearing the end of his mandate in the provisional
authority, with another Italian art expert, Mario Bondioli Osio, expected to
replace him at the beginning of October. Enditem