The Balkan Syndrome: Another Italian Soldier Died

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On July 13th, an Italian veteran of the wars in the Balkans died of cancer. According to the RAI, Italy’s national television station, Luca Sepe is “the 27th Italian victim of depleted uranium”, used in bombings over the Balkans.

Mr Sepe, who died at the age of 27, contracted Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2001, after having served in the Balkans for many years.

He became quite well-known in Italy some months ago, as he was interviewed by the national television station RAI, when he attended the funeral of Italian military policemen (carabinieri) who were killed by a bomb-raid in Nassiriya, Iraq, earlier this year.
In the interview, Mr Sepe denounced that he had been left by the Ministry of Defense with no assistance whatsoever. He was among the first soldiers sent to Kosovo in 1999, without any information about depleted uranium, even though he was deployed in areas where NATO forces had conducted several air attacks, using depleted uranium ammunition.

Mr Sepe only received information about depleted uranium after three months of deployment, when he was given respiratory protection in the form of a dust mask, in November 1999.

Note: Luca Sepe is the 27th Italian soldier who has died of cancer after military missions in the Balkans. It is estimated that there are 267 Balkan veterans in Italy who are currently ill with cancer. See the RAI Interview with Mr. Sepe, and additional photos, videos and articles at the RAI website.