Home > International News > Italy Denies Report It Paid Off Taliban

Italy Denies Report It Paid Off Taliban

Silvio Berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi denied Thursday that payments to the Taliban in Afghanistan were authorized to protect Italian soldiers deployed there. The accusation, published by the London Times, is “baseless,” his office said in a written statement.

“Berlusconi’s government has never authorized nor allowed any form of money payment in favor of members of the Taliban insurgency, nor does it have any knowledge of these types of initiatives enacted by the previous government.

“As a way of proving this, it is enough to remember that in the first half of the year 2008, the Italian contingency in Afghanistan have received numerous attacks, and specifically in the area of Sarobi.

On February 13th, 2008, the second lieutenant Francesco Pezzulo was killed in one of those attacks,” the statement continued. According to the Times, when French troops replaced the Italians in the Sarobi area east of Kabul in mid-2008, they were not told about the practice.

Source: Ghanamma

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