Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said last night Mr Quattrocchi “died a hero”.
Al-Jazeera refused to broadcast the video.
“We have the footage but we won’t air it as it is too bloody,” said a spokesman. “They slaughtered the hostage because of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s last remarks refusing to withdraw troops from Iraq.”
Mr Berlusconi vowed to keep Italy’s 5000 troops in Iraq. “They have destroyed a life. They have not cracked our values and our efforts for peace,” he said.