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American troops in Iraq fire on Italian diplomat's car
www.chinaview.cn 2003-09-20 05:16:44

  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 for Iraq.

  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 early 1990s.

  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

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