Italy mourns agent killed after hostage rescue

 Prayers have been said across Italy for the intelligence officer shot dead in Iraq after rescuing a hostage. Nicola Calipari was killed by US troops on Friday evening as he escorted reporter Giuliana Sgrena, to freedom. The Pope sent two telegrams to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and to Fr Maurizio Calipari, brother of Nicola, on Saturday. The telegrams expressed grief over the death of Nicola Calipari. It also expressed gratitude for the work of the Italian government in liberating the journalist. In the telegram sent to Don Maurizio Calipari, a permanent member of the Pontifical Academy on Life, the Pope expressed his deep regret over the incident and that he is very close to him and his family and the mother and wife of Nicola in particular. The Pope also noted he admired "the heroic gesture borne of a sense of duty and by the feelings of Christian virtue". Thousands of Italians crowded into Santa Maria degli Angeli church in Rome yesterday for Nicola Calipan's full state funeral. Mr Calipari's wife and teenage children were joined by Italy's president, prime minister and senior intelligence officials at the Requiem Mass. Source: Fides

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