How twisted is this: Freed Italian Hostage: Iraq Rebels Justified 10/1/2004 2:18:00 PM GMT http://www.aljazeera.com/cgi-bin/news_service/middle_east_full_story.asp?service_id=5031 One of the two freed Italian aid workers who were held hostage in Iraq said that rebels in Iraq were right to fight against U.S. occupation forces and their Iraqi "puppet government." In statements that would annoy the Italian government, Simona Torretta also called on Rome to pullout its forces from Iraq. "I said it before the kidnapping and I repeat it today," she told Corriere della Sera newspaper in an interview published Friday. "You have to distinguish between terrorism and resistance. The guerrilla war is justified, but I am against the kidnapping of civilians." Toretta also described the administration of Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi as "a puppet government in the hands of the Americans," and she said the nationwide elections, due in January, would have no legitimacy. "During my days in detention ... I came to the conclusion it will take decades to put Iraq back on its feet." She said. Torretta, who lived in Iraq before, during and after the U.S. occupation, said that she wanted to return despite her ordeal, but would not do so as long as U.S. forces were there: "I've got to wait until the end of the U.S. occupation," she said. She also said that she did know whether Italy paid ransom to her captors or not; If a ransom was paid then I am very sorry. But I know nothing about it ... I believe that (the kidnappers) were a very political, religious group and that in the end they were convinced that we were not enemies." Torretta has told a news conference in Rome Thursday that their kidnappers have asked for their forgiveness when they knew they were in Iraq to help local people. "The relationship improved," she said. "They checked out who we were. They gave us towels and soap and books about Islam, and they made us read the Quran. "Our treatment was privileged, possibly helped by us being women," said Torretta. Torretta and Simona Pari, both 29, were released Tuesday, three weeks after being seized from their Baghdad office on Sept. 7. The Italian PM Berlusconi has denied widespread reports that his government paid a $1 million ransom to secure their release. The two women were freed Tuesday along with two other Iraqis from the same humanitarian group. The Italian women were flown home on an Italian military jet. Less than a week before their release, two Arabic Web sites posted claims that the two Italian hostages were executed.