Web tape may show soldiers' mutilation
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published September 24, 2006
CAIRO - An al-Qaida-linked group posted a Web video Saturday purporting to show the bodies of two American soldiers being dragged behind a truck, then set on fire in apparent retaliation for the alleged rape-slaying of a young Iraqi woman by U.S. troops from the same unit.
The Mujahedeen Shura Council - an umbrella organization of insurgent groups, including al-Qaida in Iraq - posted a previous video in June showing the soldiers' mutilated bodies and claiming it killed them. It was not clear whether Saturday's video was a continuation of that footage, or why it was released.
The new footage came hours after the posting of another al-Qaida video, an apparent re-release of a tape showing the execution of a Turkish hostage by the man purported to be the new leader of Al-Qaida in Iraq. The video first appeared Aug. 2, 2004.
The images would be the first of Abu Ayyub al-Masri to be released since the group announced that he had succeeded Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed by a U.S. airstrike June 7.
It was impossible to identify the bodies in the second video, but it was believed to show Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, and Pfc. Thomas Tucker, 25, who disappeared June 16 south of Baghdad.
The U.S military has charged four soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division in the March 12 alleged rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Mahmoudiya. Another soldier is accused of failing to report the attack. A fifth suspect has pleaded not guilty to rape and murder charges and is being held in a U.S. civilian court.
[Last modified September 24, 2006, 01:44:17]
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