Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre, left, and Salvatore Girone pictured in Rome last year. Pic: AP.

ROME (AP) — Italy’s defense minister has rushed to India after one of two Italian marines, held there for two and a half  years without charges, was hospitalized.

Minister Roberta Pinotti flew to New Delhi Monday to check on Massimiliano Latorre’s condition. Latorre and Salvatore Girone have been detained since 2012 pending an investigation into the killing of two Indian fishermen. The marines were providing cargo ship security when they opened fire, mistaking a fishing boat for pirate craft.

Italy contends the shooting occurred in international waters. India rebuffed Italy’s demands for the men’s return.

A family member said on Facebook Latorre was hospitalized with ischemia, or blood flow blockage. Brain ischemia can cause strokes. An unrelated parliamentary defense official, Nicola Latorre, said the marine had regained consciousness in a New Delhi hospital neurological ward.

Subscribe to Asian Correspondent

Receive our weekly round-up of the most important stories in Asia

We will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.