RealNews

Italy debates the cost of freeing hostages

Euphoria still lingers in the air after the triumphant homecoming of two Italian aid workers held hostage in Iraq. But concern intensified Wednesday that by saving the “two Simonas,” Italy may have inspired a whole new phase of kidnapping in Iraq, sending a message to criminal gangs that western hostages are worth millions of dollars. Amid reports that at least $1 million was paid for the release of Simona Pari and Simona Parretta after 21 days of agonizing negotiations with their captors, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said only that the government made “a very difficult choice.”Full Story

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