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U.S. torture-killer suspect siezed in Iraq

Dec. 29, 2006 at 12:59 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Iraqi forces have captured the man suspected of kidnapping, torturing and killing two American soldiers.

The man was described in a Multi-National Corps-Iraq press release as an "al-Qaida in Iraq terror cell leader" and was captured by Iraqi special forces Tuesday in Yousifiyah, south of Baghdad, the Army Times reported.

Pfc. Kristian Menchaca and Pfc. Thomas Tucker "were abducted June 16 in Yousifiyah at a bridge crossing where they and a third soldier were positioned in a Humvee," the papoer reported. "The attackers apparently swarmed the soldiers around dusk, killing Spc. David Babineau near the scene before disappearing with Menchaca and Tucker."

"The battered and booby-trapped bodies of the two missing soldiers were found three days later. They had been tortured," the Army Times said.

The Army Times said the captured suspect had discussed the incident "during the showing of a video CD at a Yousifiyah mosque that allegedly showed the kidnapping of the U.S. soldiers."

"The suspect also was believed to have been involved in numerous kidnappings, murders and other violent crimes within the Yousifiyah area," the report said.

The Iraqi military conducted an airborne assault operation and siezed the suspect without incident. Another person detained was later released, the Multi-National Corps-Iraq statement said.

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