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Missing US soldiers' bodies found in Iraq
ap/yahoo ^ | June 20, 2006

Posted on 06/20/2006 4:16:19 AM PDT by prairiebreeze

A senior Iraqi military official said Tuesday the bodies of two missing U.S. soldiers have been found near the town where they went missing, but the U.S. military said it could not confirm the report.

Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Mohammed said the bodies were found on a street near a power plant in the town of Youssifiyah, just south of Baghdad. U.S. Maj. Doug Powell said he could not confirm the report.

The two men went missing Friday after an attack that killed one of their comrades.

Earlier Tuesday, a parked minivan exploded in a busy outdoor market in a Baghdad slum, killing four people and wounding 16, police said.

Elsewhere, a suicide bomber wearing an explosives belt blew himself up in a home for the elderly in the southern city of Basra, killing two people and wounding three.

The minivan bombing occurred as people were shopping in the rundown district of Sadr City, a sprawling Shiite district in eastern Baghdad. Police Col. Hassan Chalob said four civilians were killed and seven cars were left charred.

The area has been targeted by attackers in the past. Bombs exploded in two markets there on March 12, killing at least 44 people.

The motive of the attack on the elderly home was unclear and an investigation was under way, police Lt. Col. Karim al-Zaida said. Two women were killed.

Tensions have been worsening in the Shiite-dominated area of Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, which is about 340 miles southeast of Baghdad. Britain has about 8,000 soldiers in the city.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared a state of emergency there late last month, but it has failed to quell the rampant violence as rival Shiite militias fight each other for power.

Meanwhile, an al-Qaida-linked group said Monday it was holding captive two U.S. privates, one from Texas and the other from Oregon, and taunted the U.S. military for failing to find the soldiers despite a search involving more than 8,000 Iraqi and American troops.

The Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organization for a variety of insurgent factions led by al-Qaida in Iraq, offered no video, identification cards or other evidence to prove that they have the Americans. The group had vowed to seek revenge for the June 7 killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, in a U.S. airstrike.

The council also said it was responsible for the June 3 kidnapping of four Russian Embassy workers. The two separate postings could not be authenticated, but they appeared on a Web site known for publishing messages from insurgent groups in Iraq.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman, when asked about the claim by the Shura Council that it was holding the soldiers, said: "We have no independent confirmation of that report."

Besides the troops, the U.S. military said Monday it has deployed fighter jets, helicopters, unmanned drones, boats and dive teams in the hunt for the soldiers, who disappeared Friday in a region south of Baghdad known as the "Triangle of Death."

Residents said the Americans slapped a 3 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew in the area and were conducting house-to-house raids, arresting anyone found not to be a permanent resident. They said U.S. and Iraqi soldiers were demanding to see each family's food ration card, which lists the number of beneficiaries, so as to single out outsiders.

Troops searching for the soldiers killed three suspected insurgents and detained 34 in fighting that also left seven U.S. servicemen wounded, said military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell.

The area is among the most dangerous in Iraq for U.S. troops and mostly populated by minority Sunni Arabs, the backbone of Iraq's 3-year-old insurgency. The two soldiers were missing after an attack on their traffic checkpoint that left one of their comrades dead.

Ahmed Khalaf Falah, a farmer, has told The Associated Press that he witnessed seven masked gunmen seize the soldiers near Youssifiyah, about 12 miles south of Baghdad.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Sunday that insurgents had taken the soldiers prisoner. "Hopefully they would be found and released as soon as possible," he said on CNN's "Late Edition."

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said there was "great concern" over the missing soldiers.

"The American military has made very clear that they are going to do everything possible ... to try and find them," she told reporters.

Kidnappings of U.S. service members have been rare since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, despite the presence of about 130,000 forces.

U.S. troops patrol only in convoys. Foot patrols, while common in parts of Iraq during 2003 and 2004, have become rare because of roadside bombs, snipers and ambushes.

The last U.S. soldier to be captured was Sgt. Keith M. Maupin of Batavia, Ohio, who was taken on April 9, 2004 after insurgents ambushed his fuel convoy. Two months later, a tape on Al-Jazeera purported to show a captive U.S. soldier shot, but the Army ruled it was inconclusive.

Six soldiers, including Pvt. Jessica Lynch, were captured in an ambush in southern Iraq in the early days of the war — March 23, 2003. Lynch was rescued April 1, 2003, the others 12 days later.

The Mujahedeen Shura Council did not make threats or demands in the abduction of Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston, Texas, and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker, 25, of Madras, Ore., saying only that "we shall give you more details about the incident in the next few days, God willing." Spc. David J. Babineau, 25, of Springfield, Mass., was killed in the attack on the checkpoint at a canal crossing near the Euphrates River.

All three were from the 101st Airborne Division based at Fort Campbell, Ky.

The Shura Council taunted the military by saying that it had "launched a campaign of raids using armor and equipment, in the region around the incident, but the army of 'the strongest nation in the world' retreated in defeat and disgrace."

The separate statement on the Russians demanded that Moscow withdraw from war-torn Chechnya within 48 hours and release Islamic militants from its prisons or "face the consequences."

The Russian Foreign Ministry called for their immediate release and said "the abduction of citizens of a country that is energetically helping to restore peace in Iraq" cannot be justified.

In Baghdad, where a two-day surge in violence ended a three-day lull, Nouri al-Maliki sought to regain the initiative by sending tanks, armored vehicles and thousands of army troops into the city.

In the Sunni Arab neighborhood of Azamiyah, two Iraqi tanks were deployed in the main square, a short distance away from the Grand Imam mosque, Iraq's holiest Sunni site. Iraqi armored personnel carriers and newly acquired U.S.-made Humvees were also patrolling the city's most dangerous neighborhoods on the western bank of the Tigris.

Iraqi army troops also patrolled on foot and in many areas they manned positions behind concrete barriers and sandbags.

In the troubled western Baghdad neighborhood of Jamaa, Iraqi soldiers manned checkpoints from behind concrete blast barriers to defend against suicide car bombers.

Nearly 500 detainees were released Monday as part of al-Maliki's national reconciliation effort. Most are Sunni Arabs and al-Maliki's plan to release 2,500 of them by month's end aims to reach out to the community.

In a fresh blow to the image of American troops in Iraq, the U.S. Army charged three soldiers in connection with the deaths of three Iraqi men while they were in military custody on May 9 during an operation near Thar Thar Canal in Salahuddin province north of Baghdad.

The soldiers belonged to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, the military said in its announcement Monday. At least 15 service members have been convicted on a range of charges in the deaths of Iraqi civilians since the beginning of the war.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bodies; gis; iraq; kidnappedgis; menchaca; mia; thomastucker
God rest their souls.
1 posted on 06/20/2006 4:16:20 AM PDT by prairiebreeze
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To: prairiebreeze



Praying for the repose of the souls of these two young men and also the soul of the young soldier that was killed during the kidnapping.


2 posted on 06/20/2006 4:19:25 AM PDT by rockabyebaby (Say what you feel, those that matter don't mind, those that mind don't matter.)
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To: prairiebreeze

Prayers for them and their families.


3 posted on 06/20/2006 4:22:24 AM PDT by SueRae
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To: prairiebreeze

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1652301/posts


4 posted on 06/20/2006 4:28:08 AM PDT by MEG33 (GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: MEG33

Hi there. Yes, I saw the thread you linked. I just put up the "official" news version for recording purposes.

Both of them are heroes. May God comfort their families.


5 posted on 06/20/2006 5:05:48 AM PDT by prairiebreeze (“Double or triple our troubles and we would still be better off than any people on earth.”---Reagan)
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To: prairiebreeze
Ahmed Khalaf Falah, a farmer, has told The Associated Press that he witnessed seven masked gunmen seize the soldiers near Youssifiyah, about 12 miles south of Baghdad.

Want to bet Ahmed is toast? Nice of the media to publish his name--as if the enemy does not read the f'n paper.

Prayers up for the soldiers and their families.

6 posted on 06/20/2006 5:11:54 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: prairiebreeze

this has been posted about 5 times...


7 posted on 06/20/2006 5:24:22 AM PDT by EnigmaticAnomaly ("Conservatives protect Americans from terrorists. Liberals protect terrorists from Americans.")
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To: prairiebreeze
The MURTHA PLAN is now in effect.

Throughout Iraq, our troops will be taking far too much time, trying to decide whether to defend themselves.

The insurgents must love this.

8 posted on 06/20/2006 5:35:30 AM PDT by syriacus (Insurgents love THE MURTHA PLAN: Make US troops hesitate, too long, before defending themselves.)
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To: prairiebreeze

9 posted on 06/20/2006 5:35:57 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: prairiebreeze
Ahmed Khalaf Falah, a farmer, has told The Associated Press that he witnessed seven masked gunmen seize the soldiers near Youssifiyah, about 12 miles south of Baghdad.

Could this be misinformation? I'd think that at least some of the gunmen dressed so as to look like as ordinary civilians.

10 posted on 06/20/2006 5:38:53 AM PDT by syriacus (Insurgents love THE MURTHA PLAN: Make US troops hesitate, too long, before defending themselves.)
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To: EnigmaticAnomaly

I believe I searched prior to posting and didn't see the exact account posted.


11 posted on 06/20/2006 5:53:19 AM PDT by prairiebreeze (“Double or triple our troubles and we would still be better off than any people on earth.”---Reagan)
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To: syriacus

Our guys were ambushed when they went out to investigate another incident. I believe I read about the masks earlier.


12 posted on 06/20/2006 5:54:39 AM PDT by prairiebreeze (“Double or triple our troubles and we would still be better off than any people on earth.”---Reagan)
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To: prairiebreeze

Prayers for comfort to their families.


13 posted on 06/20/2006 5:56:14 AM PDT by Dustbunny (Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me)
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To: prairiebreeze
Elsewhere, a suicide bomber wearing an explosives belt blew himself up in a home for the elderly in the southern city of Basra, killing two people and wounding three.

A home for the elderly??? What is up with these maniacs? Are they totally insane? What on earth is blowing up a home for the elderly supposed to accomplish?

14 posted on 06/20/2006 5:59:32 AM PDT by Tokra (I think I'll retire to Bedlam.)
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To: prairiebreeze
Our guys were ambushed when they went out to investigate another incident. I believe I read about the masks earlier.

Thanks for the information, prairiebreeze.

15 posted on 06/20/2006 6:00:54 AM PDT by syriacus (Insurgents love THE MURTHA PLAN: Make US troops hesitate, too long, before defending themselves.)
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To: prairiebreeze
The two soldiers were missing after an attack on their traffic checkpoint that left one of their comrades dead.

This was the incident I had heard about, which is why I wondered if our men hesitated to defend themselves.

16 posted on 06/20/2006 6:05:06 AM PDT by syriacus (Insurgents love THE MURTHA PLAN: Make US troops hesitate, too long, before defending themselves.)
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To: Tokra

"A home for the elderly??? What is up with these maniacs? Are they totally insane?"

War criminals yes, but insane no...They know the media and the left will blame Bush and further undermine the war.


17 posted on 06/20/2006 6:07:19 AM PDT by Wristpin ("The Yankees announce plan to buy every player in Baseball....")
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To: prairiebreeze

Prayers up for these two noble men and their loved ones back home.


18 posted on 06/20/2006 6:10:40 AM PDT by Allegra (Mookie Sadr's Next!)
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To: Tokra

I suppose it's meant to inflame hostilies within the Iraqi populace.

Blowing up old people. My, what brave, brave men...pfft!


19 posted on 06/20/2006 6:30:56 AM PDT by prairiebreeze (“Double or triple our troubles and we would still be better off than any people on earth.”---Reagan)
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To: syriacus

yes, it was that after that attack, our guys went out looking for the perps and were ambushed.

I'm a little surprised we haven't seen this tactic before now. I'm sure our forces will adjust their protocols of searching in order to guard against this happening again.


20 posted on 06/20/2006 6:32:48 AM PDT by prairiebreeze (“Double or triple our troubles and we would still be better off than any people on earth.”---Reagan)
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To: Allegra

Your tagline.....inside info?


21 posted on 06/20/2006 6:43:52 AM PDT by prairiebreeze (“Double or triple our troubles and we would still be better off than any people on earth.”---Reagan)
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To: prairiebreeze
Your tagline.....inside info?

Wishful thinking.

I'm not near high enough on the foodchain to have good intel like that. ;-)

22 posted on 06/20/2006 6:51:33 AM PDT by Allegra (Mookie Sadr's Next!)
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To: prairiebreeze
I'm sure our forces will adjust their protocols of searching in order to guard against this happening again.

I guess, I'm wondering this:

Would a search have been necessary if our troops manning checkpoints were allowed to act more quickly? Perhaps the first soldier, at the checkpoint, would still be alive or, perhaps, the original perps would have been killed on the spot.

Perhaps the insurgents, who prefer soft target, never would have attacked in the first place, if they knew they had little chance of succeeding.

23 posted on 06/20/2006 6:52:59 AM PDT by syriacus (Insurgents love THE MURTHA PLAN: Make US troops hesitate, too long, before defending themselves.)
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To: syriacus

I can only speculate, as you are. However I can unequivocally state with full conviction that if we weren't worried about fighting a politically correct war (oxymoron) and if the Euroweenies and DemonRATS would STFU, we'd probably have the job done by now.


24 posted on 06/20/2006 6:56:49 AM PDT by prairiebreeze (“Double or triple our troubles and we would still be better off than any people on earth.”---Reagan)
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To: syriacus
I just saw the following over on Michelle Malkin's blog. I'll link the source that she links. Here's the snip:

McQ has a pair of must-read posts: a detailed analysis of the Department of Defense latest report to Congress on progress in Iraq and a post on the lessons of this terrible episode:

This will be the lesson of the day from every commander out there. When you have a group that small, you never split them. You either all go, or you all stay. There's another lesson, an unofficial one, which will be passed among the troops themselves. Never surrender. They'll just kill you anyway. It's better to go down fighting.

The blogger refers to the cause of what happened as "a basic tactical error".

I am unfamiliar with this blog, and am offering it only in follow up to our discussion.

25 posted on 06/20/2006 8:18:44 AM PDT by prairiebreeze (“Double or triple our troubles and we would still be better off than any people on earth.”---Reagan)
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To: prairiebreeze; All

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1652441/posts


26 posted on 06/20/2006 8:20:13 AM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: prairiebreeze

Thanks, prairiebreeze. I appreciate it.


27 posted on 06/20/2006 8:22:18 AM PDT by syriacus (Insurgents love THE MURTHA PLAN: Make US troops hesitate, too long, before defending themselves.)
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To: SE Mom

If he wants to claim responsibility, so be it.

He'll get his, mark my words. Our troops are going to be even more energized by this. Like we are.

Our media is another story.


28 posted on 06/20/2006 8:26:14 AM PDT by prairiebreeze (“Double or triple our troubles and we would still be better off than any people on earth.”---Reagan)
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To: prairiebreeze

Yes- he will get his- one way or another.

I wonder sometimes what thoughts pass through the minds of the media and liberals who exploit and manipulate this war to their ends..they are incomprehensible.


29 posted on 06/20/2006 8:33:32 AM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: prairiebreeze

This is what happens when you try to fight a "Politically Correct" war...

Release the "Pendleton 8!"

Semper Fi,
Kelly


30 posted on 06/20/2006 5:13:40 PM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: prairiebreeze

Yet one more time, I have to believe that Reagan would have said political correctness be damned, let's end this thing. However, with Reagan, it probably would have been over on 9/12/01 a la Truman style.


31 posted on 06/20/2006 8:44:48 PM PDT by RR76 (Where have you gone Ronnie, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.)
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