[DEBATE] : U.S. troops accused of killing Iraq family
tony roshan samara
straightup00us at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 30 17:12:49 BST 2006
U.S. troops accused of killing Iraq family
By RYAN LENZ, Associated Press Writer 16 minutes ago
Five U.S. Army soldiers are being investigated for allegedly raping a
young woman, then killing her and three members of her family in
Iraq, a U.S. military official said Friday.
The soldiers also allegedly burned the body of the woman they are
accused of assaulting in the March incident, the official told The
Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity
of the case.
The U.S. command issued a sparse statement, saying Maj. Gen. James D.
Thurman, commander of coalition troops in Baghdad, had ordered a
criminal investigation into the alleged killing of a family of four
in Mahmoudiyah, south of Baghdad. The statement had no other details.
The case represents the latest allegations against U.S. soldiers
stemming from the deaths of Iraqis. At least 14 U.S. troops have been
The United States also is investigating allegations that two dozen
unarmed Iraqi civilians were killed by U.S. Marines in the western
town of Haditha on Nov. 19 in a revenge attack after one of their own
died in a roadside bombing.
"The entire investigation will encompass everything that could have
happened that evening. We're not releasing any specifics of an
ongoing investigation," military spokesman Maj. Todd Breasseale said
of the Mahmoudiyah allegations.
"There is no indication what led soldiers to this home. The
investigation just cracked open. We're just beginning to dig into the
However, a U.S. official close to the investigation said at least one
of the soldiers, all assigned to the 502nd Infantry Regiment, has
admitted his role and been arrested. Two soldiers from the same
regiment were slain this month when they were kidnapped at a
checkpoint near Youssifiyah.
The official told the AP the accused soldiers were from the same
platoon as the two slain soldiers. The military has said one and
possibly both of the slain soldiers were tortured and beheaded.
The official said the mutilation of the slain soldiers stirred
feelings of guilt and led at least one of them to reveal the
rape-slaying on June 22.
One of the accused soldiers already has been discharged and is
believed to be in the United States, two U.S. officials said on
condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. The
others have had their weapons taken away and are confined to Forward
Operating Base Mahmoudiyah.
The official said the killings appear to be unrelated to the
kidnappings. He said those involved were all below the rank of
Senior officers were aware of the family's death but believed it was
due to sectarian violence, common in the religiously mixed town, he
The killings appeared to have been a "crime of opportunity," the
official said. The soldiers had not been attacked by insurgents but
had noticed the woman on previous patrols.
AP correspondent Ryan Lenz is embedded with the 101st Airborne
Division in Beiji, Iraq. He was previously embedded with the 502nd
Infantry Regiment in Mahmoudiyah.
The Associated Press News and Information Research Center contributed
to this report.
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