Italian politicians have expressed their deep sorrow following the news that three of their soldiers were killed in a road side bomb in Iraq. A fourth is in a critical condition. A Romanian soldier was also killed.
They were part of a convoy travelling in the south of the country when the bomb went off
It was the deadliest attack on Italian forces serving in Iraq since 2003 when a suicide bomber killed 19 Italians.
At least two groups including one linked to Abu Musab Al Zarqawi have claimed responsiblity for the latest attack
Italy has 2600 soldiers in Iraq – they are based in Nassiriya which generally has seen less trouble than other parts of the country.
Romano Prodi set to become Prime Minister of Italy said there would be no urgent troop withdrawl.
“Of course we will work in Iraq for peace and reconstruction of the country. We don’t fly away. We will work for it and I hope that we can contribute for the future of democracy and peace in the country.”
A ceremony in Rome to pay tribute to the country’s firefighters was turned intoa moment of national mourning as word of the attack in southern Iraq spread.