It is heartbreaking news for the relatives of two US soldiers missing in Iraq. The US military has confirmed they have been found dead.A senior Iraqi official said their bodies showed signs of torture. Thomas Lowell Tucker and Kristian Menchaca disappeared at dusk on Friday after an attack on their checkpoint, south of Baghdad.
As their families agonized, US forces launched an intensive hunt for the men involving aircraft and thousands of troops. But today the remains of 23-year-old Private Menchaca and his 25-year-old comrade were recovered near an electricity plant close to where they went missing.
US military spokesman Major General William Caldwell said: “I can just say that our resolve will continue until we find the final disposition and take the appropriate action against those who perpetrated this event.” On Monday, an insurgent group linked to al Qaeda claimed to have abducted the soldiers. Today there was another Internet statement – purportedly from the same group – saying it had slit their throats.
The deaths have dealt a blow to the US military after it killed al Qaeda’s leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. US forces have stepped up their hunt for insurgents following Zarqawi’s death.