|Birth: ||unknown, Italy|
|Death: ||Aug. 26, 2004, Italy|
KILLED BY TERRORISTS
Enzo Baldoni was killed Thursday, August 26, 2004 by Iraqi terrororists. Italy has about 3,000 forces in the country, most of whom are based near the southern city of Nasiriya. Baldoni was killed when Italy declined the kidnappers' deadline to withdraw troops.
Arabic-language TV network Al-Jazeera reported that a group calling itself the Islamic Army in Iraq executed Baldoni, but did not elaborate on how or where he was killed.
Iraqi interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi contacted Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to express Iraq's condolences to Italy and Baldoni's family, according to the Italian government's Web site. Allawi called the killing "barbaric."
Baldoni's wife, Giusy Bonsignore, said on television, "He is no longer here, but Enzo is still with us." She added, "Enzo was in love with life." The couple has two sons.
Italy's Olympic athletes, including the soccer team, which won a bronze medal Friday against Iraq, wore black arm bands in remembrance of Baldoni.
Baldoni disappeared between Baghdad and Najaf a week ago.
Baldoni was a contributor for the Italian news monthly Il Diario, and was planning to write stories for the magazine in Iraq, staffers said. Il Diario's international news editor, Alessandro MarzoMagno, told CNN Thursday that the magazine contacted Al-Jazeera after Baldoni's disappearance and asked the network to pass along a message to his kidnappers. He didn't describe the message.
Baldoni, a successful advertisement agent based in Milan, traveled to Baghdad at his own expense, magazine staffers said.
MarzoMagno said Baldoni took vacations in conflict zones and wrote about the fighting in a personal effort to understand why conflicts evolve into war.
Friends and associates described Baldoni as an optimistic man with much curiosity, a sense of adventure and a keen sense of irony.
Between 2001 and 2003 he traveled to Colombia, where he spent about three months. During his second trip, he was kidnapped for a few hours by guerrilla fighters.
"Some people think I am some sort of a Rambo who loves strong emotions and seeing people die," he once said, according to Rome's La Repubblica newspaper. "I am miles away from that mentality. I am a convinced pacifist and for that reason I am curious to understand what make normal people brandish a gun."
Created by: Grace, Peace and Love, K...
Record added: Aug 28, 2004
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