Italian Hostage in Iraq Begs for Life - TV Tape 48 minutes ago World - Reuters By Luke Baker BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Giuliana Sgrena, an Italian journalist held hostage in Iraq (news - web sites), begged for her life and appealed for foreign troops to quit the country in a tape released by insurgents on Wednesday. "I beg you, put an end to the occupation. I beg the Italian government and the Italian people to put pressure on the government to pull out," she said on the undated tape, holding her hands in front of her in supplication. Sgrena, a reporter for Rome-based communist newspaper Il Manifesto, was seized in Baghdad on Feb. 4 as she conducted interviews on the street near Baghdad University. "I beg you to help me ... I beg my family to help me, and all those who stood with me to oppose the war and the occupation," she said, breaking down in tears. Sgrena is at least the eighth Italian to have been taken hostage in Iraq. Another journalist, Enzo Baldoni, was seized in August last year and later killed by his captors. Italy has some 3,000 troops in Iraq, the fourth largest foreign contingent after U.S., British and South Korean forces. In previous hostage crises, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government has rejected demands to withdraw its soldiers. Sgrena was dressed in a green shirt and appeared to be kneeling. It was the first time she has been seen since her kidnapping, but it was not clear when or where the tape was filmed. She speaks in both Italian and French, repeating the same pleas for help. "Everyone must withdraw from Iraq. No one should come to Iraq any longer because all foreigners, all Italians are considered enemies. Please do something for me," says Sgrena, who was herself a vocal opponent of the Iraqi invasion. A label on the tape, written in red Arabic script, reads "Mujahadeen without borders." Sgrena's father, Franco, told Sky Italia television: "At least we have seen her alive, but I don't think they will pull out the troops to save my daughter." PARLIAMENT VOTE Sgrena's appeal came on the day parliament was due to vote on releasing funds to extend Italy's military mission to Iraq. The parliamentary vote has deeply divided Italian politics with the center-left opposition deciding once again to reject the deployment and call instead for the soldiers to come home. "We didn't want the war and so, without any new developments, what are we supposed to say? Long live Italian troops in Iraq?," opposition leader Romano Prodi said this week. Sgrena's appeal is likely to inflame the debate. Her partner, Pier Scolari, told Sky Italia: "I will join Giuliana and call for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, but not to save Giuliana's life, to save the Iraqi people, which is something much bigger." More than 120 foreigners have been taken hostage in Iraq over the past year and at least a third have been killed. Two Italian aid workers were held for three weeks in September 2004 and then set free. (Additional reporting by Crispian Balmer and Robin Pomeroy in Rome.) Once more the terrorists show their mettle. What courage it must take to kidnap a woman and make her beg for her life! They must all be "manly" men!