Kidnapped Italian Soldiers Freed After Raid in Afghanistan


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice
KABUL, Afghanistan — Two kidnapped Italian military personnel were rescued in a NATO-led combat operation early Monday in western Afghanistan, two days after they went missing, an official said. Early reports indicated that at least five of the kidnappers had been killed.

Both Italians were wounded during the operation, one seriously. The two were being treated in a hospital run by NATO's International Security Assistance Force.
"They were freed in an ISAF operation. They were both injured. One is in a more difficult situation than the other," an Italian Embassy official said on condition of anonymity because of embassy policy. "They are free now. They are at a military hospital in the western region."
An Afghan translator and driver who were with the Italians were "found," the official said, adding that he did not know what condition they were in.

NATO troops located the two Italians and attacked the group of kidnappers. Preliminary reports found that five of the kidnappers were killed, though the toll may be higher, the official said.
The two Italians, their driver and translator had been missing since Saturday when they were last seen at a police checkpoint in the Shindand district of Helmand province, Afghan police said.

The Italians' last contact with their base was Saturday night, the embassy official said.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi told The Associated Press on Monday that the Taliban had not kidnapped the Italians. The embassy official said it wasn't clear which insurgent group had kidnapped the Italians.
In March, five Taliban prisoners were freed in exchange for the release of a kidnapped Italian journalist. The head of the Italian aid agency Emergency has said the Rome government also paid a $2 million ransom last year for a kidnapped Italian photographer — a claim Italian officials did not deny.
In remote northeastern Afghanistan, meanwhile, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a vehicle carrying police and government employees, killing 12, police said Monday.

The attack Sunday left seven policemen and five government employees dead, and one policeman wounded. They were traveling from northeastern Badakhshan province to Kabul, said Badakhshan police chief Gen. Agha Noor Kemtuz.
The police were being transferred to new posts and so were not armed, he said.
Elsewhere in northeastern Afghanistan, NATO helicopters fired on a group of suspected insurgents in response to a rocket attack Saturday. Four Afghans died and 12 were wounded, the alliance said, and officials were investigating whether the dead and wounded were Afghan police or civilians targeted mistakenly.
The NATO strike was in response to a rocket attack at an Afghan army base in the area.
Initial reports indicated they were Afghan police and road construction security guards "dressed in civilian attire and carrying weapons on an uncoordinated patrol," NATO's International Security Assistance Force said in a statement.
Afghan army commander Gen. Qadam Shah said the 12 wounded were civilians but the identity of those killed was not clear from preliminary reports.

NATO also said a soldier was killed by gunfire in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday. The soldier's nationality was not released, though most troops in that region are American.
At the United Nations on Sunday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the Iranian foreign minister and top officials from other nations overseeing a five-year plan that sets benchmarks for Afghanistan on security, economic development and the drug trade.
More than 4,400 people — mostly militants — have died in insurgency-related violence this year, according to an Associated Press tally of figures from Afghan and Western officials.
At least 600 civilians have died in the fighting, many of them mistakenly hit in airstrikes by Western forces.
In southern Zabul province, meanwhile, the Taliban kidnapped three Afghan men accused of spying for the U.S. and executed them, beheading one and shooting the other two, said Shamulzayi district chief Wazir Khan. Khan said the men were innocent.,2933,297774,00.html

Additional info:

The raid was autorized by Rome early this morning,conducted by a joint special forces team made of italian Col Moschin operators and british SAS, the team split in 2 parts, the first one attacking the talibans outside the house on a 4x4 pick up, and the other one stormed the house were the 2 agents were.
The talibans fired to the hostages before being shot (one of the hostages was hit 2 times, on the head and the chest), 5/6 of them were killed.
I would like for every person opposing the GWoT in Afghanistan to take a minute and think what those men have gone through. Maybe that will erge them to understand that this struggle is far from over, and we can no afford to loose it.
I would love just 1 hour alone with those kidnappers, one at a time, just me and my Louisville Slugger.
Official infos:

Hostages saved by the SBS

CRACK Special Boat Service commandos snatched two Italian hostages from the Taliban yesterday in a dramatic helicopter shoot-out. Elite Navy unit troops in choppers chased an insurgent gang fleeing across the remote Western desert in the Afghan badlands, trading bullets as they flew.
All nine rebels were killed after airborne snipers shot out the engines of their two vehicles.
A second Special Boat Service team dropped on the ground to help out.
The Sun has been given an exclusive account of the daring rescue — dubbed “a classic, textbook counter- terrorism operation”.
Politicians in Rome heaped glowing tributes on the Poole-based special forces for their heroics last night.
The 48-hour-long mission to recover the two soldiers — believed to be military intelligence officers — was launched on Saturday as soon as they were snatched alongside their Afghan interpreter.
It is thought they were betrayed by their local driver, who delivered the three-man team to a Taliban ambush near the town of Shindand, in the Iran border province of Herat.

Coalition spy chiefs used electronic intercepts to trace the captives to a remote compound in next-door Farah province.
The base was swiftly staked out by Italian special forces who parachuted into the area at night to avoid detection.
At dawn yesterday, the SBS team waiting with four Lynx helicopters was scrambled when the hostages were seen being driven out of the compound in two 4x4 jeeps.

The four Lynxs — top speed 210mph — carried a total of 20 commandos and swiftly caught up with the convoy.
They began to “buzz” the jeeps with low passes to force them to stop — but the gunmen refused, and opened up on the Lynxs with AK47s and machine gun fire.
Immediately returning rounds, two SBS snipers — armed with jumbo .5inch calibre rifles — then disabled the two speeding vehicles with pinpoint shots through their engine blocks. The marksmen moved on to take out the fighters individually as they ran to cover from the death-trap vehicles.
At the same time, two choppers landed nearby and dropped off 16 commandos who finished off the remaining members of the gang.
A medivac helicopter hovering high above the Lynx choppers then landed seconds later to evacuate the two Italians and interpreter, who had gone missing two days earlier.
They were all wounded — either in the original firefight when they were snatched or during the shootout.


One Italian soldier was critically ill in hospital last night suffering from a head wound. An Italian diplomat in Kabul said it was not clear who the abductors were.
Taliban insurgents, who have been behind a series of abductions, said they had not kidnapped the Italians.
But the militants are on the run and do not have regular contacts with their comrades.

NATO spokesman in Kabul Major Charles Anthony said the alliance had evidence showing the kidnappers were Taliban.
He added: “This successful operation is evidence of the International Security Assistance Force’s resolve to deal with acts of terrorism in Afghanistan. It was a very well executed rescue mission.”
As word of the extraordinary success spread in Rome last night, Italian senator Alfredo Mantovano added: “I would like to express my sincere thanks to the British troops who made a decisive contribution to the rescue of the two Italians.”
Italian PM Romano Prodi said the rescue represented “a bad defeat for the kidnappers and also a warning for the future. We never had a moment of uncertainty”.
The kidnap of Westerners in Afghanistan is a tactic used more and more by the Taliban. Western Afghan police chief Ali Khan Husseinzada said: “According to our intelligence information Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Hamid had taken the Italians.”
There was uproar a year ago when the Rome government allegedly paid a £1million ransom to free an Italian journalist snatched in Helmand province.

Like Army sister-service the SAS, the SBS practice for months until their hostage rescue drills are perfect.
The daring rescue follows a series of successes by the SBS in Afghanistan. Top of the list of fatal blows against the fanatical fighters was the assassination of the Taliban’s notorious military chief Mullah Dadullah in May after months of painstaking surveillance.

Their heroics have come at a price. In July, L/Cpl Michael Jones, 26, was killed and three comrades wounded in a raid to take out a senior Taliban leader in remote Nimruz province.
While the SAS largely carry out special forces’ operations in Iraq, the SBS — motto, By Strength and Guile — have been given Afghanistan as their exclusive territory.
One of its four sabre squadrons of 80 men is permanently based there, operating across the south. The 7,700 regular British troops there concentrate on opium-swamped Helmand. Last night it emerged the rescue had been carried out by C squadron. Most of the unit’s men were ex-Royal Marines.
In line with normal policy, the MoD refused to discuss the operation to protect the troops’ identities and tactics.

SBS in A-stan


Col Moschin
Here's whats was written on the SBS website:

Dateline : 24th September 2007

At time of writing, reports are beginning to surface of a daring SBS raid in Afghanistan.
2 Italian soldiers, possibly intelligence operatives, working in Afghanistan had been missing for several days, believed to be captured by Taliban militia. An operation to free them was put into motion when intel pinpointed the location of the hostages, close to Farah, in Western Afghanistan.

A force of SBS commandos from C Squadron were loaded onto 4 Lynx Mk7 helicopters. SBS snipers armed with .50 caliber rifles covered the assault teams as they swooped down on the militia, who were moving the hostages in a convoy of 4x4 vehicles. As the snipers disabled the vehicles with shots through their engine blocks, other SBS men were inserted onto the ground to engage any kidnappers not already taken out by the airborne snipers and to secure the hostages.
The 2 Italian hostages were recovered, albeit with injuries, some serious.
Some sources have reported that Italian special forces were involved in the operation. Speculation has it that the Italians may have tracked the hostage-takers, keeping them under surveillance until the rescue operation was launched. Other reports say the Italian special forces stormed a nearby building, where the hostages were being held before the kidnappers attempted to make off with them.
Expect more details to emerge soon.
Rest In Peace..

One of the rescued Intel Officers have since passed away..
Rest In Peace..

The parachutist in coma in the raid in order freeing it has been joined in wedding
in hospital with Francesca, the companion who has given three sons to it

Afghanistan, the wounded agent has been married
heartbreaking wedding in "articulo mortis"

Lorenzo D' Auria is in life end. The ceremony in one room of the Celio
The father of Lorenzo: "It was one promised of many years ago, a love action"

Lorenzo D' Auria holds in arm the last NATO beside its moglie Francesca

ROME - For he not there are more hopes, but before dying, Francesca has intentional to esaudire a dream that had confidato to them for a long time. In the room of the unit of resuscitation of the Celio, to Rome, the agent of the irreversible Sismi in coma after the wounds bringing back during the liberation in Aghanistan, has been joined in wedding with its Francesca companion.

Those "yes" that it has not been able to pronounce thursday evening, Lorenzo D' Auria had declared more times to it to its mistress and it had not made any secret not even its father: "For a long time they wanted to be married - has confirmed Mario D' Auria - but the military engagements had always made it to send back the date".

Lorenzo and Francesca have already three sons, the last one have two months hardly. "E' be a great gesture of love", has still said the father of the wounded paracadustica. "and then just choice has been also one, why it has sanctioned that the company of my son will be able to have the pension like vedova of a soldier died in service".

Lorenzo is held while still alive solo from the artificial respirartore but it has been possible however to marry it why the canonical right previews for "urgency of died of the spouse" and when the moribondo it had already manifested desire to tie the knot, a union in articulo mortis that it has the same civic valors and religious of whichever other sposalizio.

(29 september 2007)

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