There were scenes of delight at the offices of Sgrena’s newspaper, Communist daily Il Manifesto, as news of her release broke. While Italy is one of Bush’s staunchest allies, Il Manifesto had opposed the US-led war in Iraq.
Aid worker Simona Torretta, one of the “two Simonas” kidnapped in Iraq last September, said naturally that she was thrilled Sgrena had been freed but cautioned people not to forget the other hostages still in Iraq. It later emerged she had known the agent shot dead by American forces. But the relief at Sgrena’s release was short lived. The paper’s illustrator re-drew today’s sketch after news of the shooting. It now shows a blood-soaked dove trying to drag itself back to Italy. Il Manifesto’s editor said what should have been a moment of celebration had been ruined by the gunfire.