Italian Hostage Body Arrives in Rome

The body of Franco Lamolinara one of the hostages shot by the Boko Haram during a botched rescue mission staged by Britain and Nigeria has arrived in Rome today.

Italian Air Force jet attached to Rome’s Ciampino military airport flew him into his country and was immediately taken to the hospital morgue for autopsy to ascertain the nature of death.

Italian authorities are still upset with the British authorities for not consulting with them while planning the botched rescue mission that was embark on which led to the  killing of the two foreigners in Nigeria.

It was reported that the gun battle between the Special Forces made up of Nigeria and Britain against the Al-Qaida linked sect Boko haram lasted for several hours after which  both hostages were found dead during the rescue operations.

Earlier today, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan issued another statement after that of Thursday to condole with the families of the Italian and the Briton as well as the Governments of Italy and Britain over the loss of their citizens.

Lamolinara, an engineer, was working in Nigeria when he was kidnapped in May along with British engineer Chris McManus.

 

Italian authorities demand details of rescue operation that claimed foreign duo


Italy is demanding details of the Special Forces rescue mission in which the British engineer Christopher McManus and his Italian colleague Franco Lamolinara were killed.

The operation was carried out without the knowledge of the Italian authorities, a situation that has infuriated them.

The attempt to free Mr McManus, from northwest England, and Mr Lamolinara also involved members of the Nigerian army.

Mr Cameron said the pair appeared to have died at the hands of their captors, although it was not clear when.

It is believed there was a fight and during the assault the UK and Nigerian forces could not get to Mr McManus and Mr Lamolinara in time.

“It strongly appears that the hostage-takers shot the hostages,” the sources said.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said the pair’s “killers” have been arrested and identified as members of the radical Islamist group Boko Haram.

The rescue bid was launched after the UK received credible information about the hostages’ whereabouts and that their lives were under increasing threat.

However, an Italian senator and a Labour MP called for an explanation of why the country was not informed about the military-led rescue effort until it was under way.

Mr McManus was captured by gunmen during a raid on his apartment

Mr Monti revealed the lack of prior warning in a statement in which he said UK and Nigerian authorities had determined the operation was the “last window of opportunity to save the hostages’ lives”.

He said he had requested from the Nigerian president a “detailed reconstruction” of what went wrong.

Lucio Malan, of the People of Freedom party, questioned why the British government did not inform Italian counterparts of its intentions before launching the operation.

Labour MP Meg Hillier, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on Nigeria, said: “I don’t know how fast moving this was but it does seem odd that an ally like Italy was not actually kept informed.”

Mr McManus and Mr Lamolinara – contract workers for the Italian construction firm B Stabilini – were seized by gunmen who stormed their apartment.

A Nigerian and a German, who were also in the building, managed to escape but suffered injuries after being hit by bullets.

In August last year, a video of Mr McManus and Mr Lamolinara was released by the kidnappers. It showed the pair blindfolded and kneeling in front of their captors who were armed with rifles and a machete.

There have been a number of foreigners kidnapped while working in Nigeria in recent years especially in the oil-rich Niger Delta where the native militants are agitating for a fair share of the resource found in the area.

 

Letter Bomb Injures Top Tax Collector in Italy

Equitalia Tax Agency

An Italian tax collector was injured in the hands by a letter bomb when it exploded at the headquarters of Equitalia, a state agency that collects overdue taxes and fines.

Italian news agency AGI said the agency’s Director General Marco Cuccagna had lost part of one finger but his life was not in danger, Reuters reported.

Rome judicial sources said investigators believed the attack on Equitalia was linked to a letter bomb sent to Josef Ackermann, chief executive of Deutsche Bank, which was intercepted in Germany on Wednesday before it reached its target.

The investigators also believe the Rome attack was carried out by the same anarchist group responsible for two letter bomb attacks against the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Italy just before Christmas last year, which injured two people.

German police said the bomb sent to Ackermann was accompanied by a letter in Italian signed by a group called the Informal Anarchist Federation, which claimed responsibility for the bombs in Rome last year as well as a device that injured two people in the offices of a Swiss nuclear lobby group in March.

The letter to the Deutsche Bank chief spoke of “three explosions against banks, bankers, fleas and bloodsuckers”, police said.

Reuters