Italy ‘responsible’ for the death of 10 French soldiers in Afghanistan?
Last year’s massacre of 10 French soldiers in Afghanistan is in the spotlight this morning… and Italy is in the firing line. The Times of London claims that the Italian Secret Service had been paying off insurgent leaders in the Sarobi region, north of Kabul. The paper sources Western military officials. They say when French troops took over, the Italians did not tell them of these secret service payments. Where the insurgents had held back against the Italians, they did not do so against the French who were under-prepared when ambushed. In Kabul, a high-ranking Western intelligence source was scathing. “It’s an utter disgrace,” he said. “Nato in Afghanistan is a fragile enough construct without this lot (the Italian Secret Service) working behind our backs.”
The Italian Defense Minister has denied these claims in this morning’s Corriere della Serra, calling the Times article “rubbish”. Ignazio la Russa says he has never seen any information about the alleged secret payments.
Other stories in this morning’s international papers:
“In a war for democracy why worry about public opinion”
With 500 extra British troops being sent to Afghanistan, the Guardian criticizes the Government’s contempt for public opinion. A recent poll shows 68% of Britons want troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the year.
Trafigura – an energy company – have been in a battle with the Guardian over its alleged responsibility for dumping toxic waste in the Ivory Coast where 30,000 Ivorians were contaminated.
Amazingly, the company sought an injunction to block the paper talking about a question raised in the House of Commons over the affair. Imagine, a paper not being able to publish a question asked in the country’s parliament! In any case, the Guardian continued to speak about Trafigura affair and news of the injunction went viral on Twitter. It caused such a furore that Trafigura backed down.