US Marine beheaded in Iraq
An Iraqi group dubbed the Army of Ansar al-Sunna said in an Internet statement that it had beheaded a U.S. Marine kidnapped in Iraq and was holding another "infidel" hostage.
"We say to your leadership that we beheaded the Marine of Lebanese origin Hassoun and you will see the film with your own eyes shortly," said the statement, which was carried on at least two Web sites on Saturday. The statement, signed in the name of the group's leader, Abu Abdullah al-Hassan bin Mahmoud, was addressed to President Bush and advised him to withdraw his troops from Iraq.
The New York Times, citing a Marine officer, has reported on its Web site that Hassoun had been traumatized after seeing one of his sergeants killed by a mortar, and was trying to make his way back to Lebanon. The officer told the paper that Hassoun sought the help of Iraqis on the base, was betrayed by them, and was handed over to the Islamist group.
On Sunday, Al Jazeera TV aired a video tape of masked men holding a blindfolded Wassef Ali Hassoun with a sword poised over his head. They demanded the release of prisoners in Iraq.
"Your soldier had romantic relations with an Arab girl and he was lured away from his base," the statement said.
"And we will soon issue a new tape showing a new infidel hostage," it said without giving the nationality of the hostage.
The U.S. military has said that Hassoun had been absent from his unit since June 21. (albawaba.com)
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