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Home >> World
UPDATED: 10:55, June 10, 2006
Italy gives state funeral for Italian soldier killed in Iraq
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An Italian soldier killed in a roadside bomb attack in Iraq earlier this week was given a state funeral in Rome on Friday in a ceremony attended by the country's top political officials.

Sardinian Corporal Alessandro Pibiri, 25, died almost immediately after the attack on Monday morning near Nassiriya, the southern Iraqi town where the Italian contingent is based.

Four other Italians were injured in the same blast.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, Prime Minister Romano Prodi, Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema, House Speaker Fausto Bertinotti and top opposition representatives were among those who paid tribute to Pibiri at his funeral in the basilica of San Paolo.

Corporal Pibiri's death took the number of Italians killed in Iraq since 2003 to 38. The most recent attack was on April 27, when four soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing similar to Monday's.

The death led to renewed demands for the immediate withdrawal of Italian troops from Iraq.

Italian new center-left Premier Romano Prodi intends to withdraw all troops by the end of the year, in line with a deadline set by the previous government.

Prodi stressed on Tuesday that Pibiri's death would have "no repercussions on the timetable for withdrawal".

Source: Xinhua

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