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Italy reverses position, will return 2 marines facing murder charges to India

The Italian government says it will return to India two marines facing murder charges in the shooting deaths of two fishermen.

The announcement Thursday reversed an earlier decision by the Foreign Ministry saying the pair would not return on March 22 as agreed when they were granted permission to return home to vote in Italian elections.

The case has escalated tensions between India and Italy. The Indian Supreme Court has announced that the Italian ambassador could not leave the country.

The Italian marines were on anti-pirate duty aboard a cargo ship off India's coast in February last year when the fishermen, aboard an Indian fishing boat, were killed.

Italy has insisted the shooting happened in international waters during an international anti-piracy mission and that Italy should have jurisdiction.