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Italian's body transferred to Bagram airbase

Italian's body transferred to Bagram airbase

Jun 05, 2011 - 20:04

CHARIKARinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The body of an Italian citizen, who was beaten to death in central Panjsher province after an altercation with locals, was handed over to foreign troops on Sunday, officials said.

Cristiano Congiu was killed while vacationing in the Mokni valley of Khenj district in the relatively calm region, along with an American woman and an Afghan translator.

Despite several calls from Pajhwok Afghans News, the Italian embassy in Kabulinfo-icon refused to comment on the incident that hit the headlines in Kabul-based newspapers and TV news.

On her way to the valley, the woman on foot bumped into a donkey and fell into a deep gorge, according to Inayatullah Toofan, the governor's spokesman. The donkey driver came to her rescue and pulled the woman out of the ravine.

The tourist shot injured the villager, who was seen as assaulting the woman. They were touring the emerald-rich area, north of Kabul, without informing the local administration, Toofan said.

But the Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported the victim was a police officer, who lived in Kabul since 2007. It said that a young drug addict grabbed the American woman and bumped her "violently" against a wall, and that the tourist then fired at the Afghan with his pistol.

A counternarcotics expert, Lt. Col. Congiu's assignment came to an end on May 31, four days before travelled to the major tourist destination -- one of the districts due for a transition to the Afghan security next month.

Governor Karamuddin Karim said the Italian's corpse, which resident's brought to his office on Saturday night, was transferred to Provincial Reconstructioninfo-icon Team members on Sunday morning.

The PRTinfo-icon later took the body to the Bagram airbase in central Parwan province, said Toofan. With an investigation into the murder ongoing, the injured Afghan is said to be in stable condition at the Panjsher Emergency Hospital.

According to the governor, who endorsed the accounts given by provincial authorities a day earlier, the foreign national was thrashed, not shot, to death.

Five people detained in connection with murder were being interrogated, said the provincial police chief, Brig. Gen. Qaseem Jangalbagh, who gave no further details.


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