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Italy Tries to Obtain Release of Kidnapped Journalist; Bomb Kills 4 Iraqi Troops


Italy says it is trying to negotiate the release of an Italian journalist kidnapped by insurgents in Baghdad.

Government officials in Rome report they are in touch with a wide range of contacts in Iraq, both official and unofficial, and are meeting with representatives of all of the country's ethnic, religious and political communities. Italy's foreign minister Gianfranco Fini says "everything possible" is being done to win Giuliana Sgrena's freedom "in the shortest time possible."

The 56-year-old kidnap victim is a veteran correspondent for the leftist Italian newspaper Il Manifesto. She was seized on a Baghdad street Friday during a telephone conversation with a friend and colleague at her newspaper's offices in Rome.

The Islamic Jihad Organization says it is holding Ms. Sgrena and posted an Internet message ordering Italy to remove all its forces from the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq within 72 hours.

In Iraq's southern city of Basra Saturday, authorities say a bomb hidden on a roadside exploded and killed four Iraqi soldiers.

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