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Italy Officer Dies in Kabul Attack

August 22, 1998

ROME (AP) _ An Italian soldier wounded by unidentified gunmen in the Afghan capital of Kabul after the U.S. missile attack on Afghanistan died today, the Italian defense ministry said.

The United Nations said the Italian and a French man were shot as they drove in Kabul on Friday.

The shooting happened a day after a U.S. cruise missile attack on a suspected terrorist base in Afghanistan that reportedly killed 27 people. It was not clear if the shooting in Kabul was related to Thursday’s U.S. missile strikes.

The Italian Defense Ministry said Friday that Lt. Col. Carmine Calo, posted in Kabul since July as part of a U.N. observer force, was hit by a ricocheting bullet as he was traveling in a U.N. vehicle to his post.

Calo died in a Kabul civilian hospital of complications from his wounds, the ministry said.

The Frenchman, Eric Lavertu, a civilian U.N. worker, was wounded in the hand, the French Foreign Ministry said Friday.

The Italian Foreign Ministry said today it hoped those responsible for the ``odious crime, which struck down a worker for peace, are identified and brought to justice″ and called on the Taliban forces that rule Afghanistan to investigate.

Foreigners had been advised Wednesday to leave Afghanistan. Most of those still in Kabul stayed out of sight Friday while the United Nations and other agencies arranged evacuations.

U.S. officials said Thursday’s missile attacks were aimed at a base run by Osama bin Laden, whom U.S. officials call an anti-American Islamic militant and whom they suspect of involvement in the Aug. 7 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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