Italian agent wounded in Afghan rescue dies

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ROME, Oct 4 (Reuters) An Italian intelligence agent who was kidnapped last month in Afghanistan and wounded during a NATO-led raid to free him died today, the Italian Defence Ministry said.

Lorenzo D'Auria was one of two Italian agents briefly abducted by captors whom NATO identified as Taliban. The two were freed by Italian and British special forces, but D'Auria suffered gunshots to his head and neck.

The other Italian was also slightly wounded in the raid. Both were flown back to Italy for hospital treatment.

A spokesman for the NATO-led force in Afghanistan, which includes 2,200 Italian soldiers, has denied Italian media reports that the two hostages might have been wounded by their rescuers, saying their kidnappers had opened fire on them.

REUTERS JK HS1606

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