The U.S. military confirmed Monday that two American soldiers found dead south of Baghdad last week had been kidnapped and killed by insurgents, and said their “severely traumatized” bodies had been booby-trapped.
A military statement said Pfc. Kristian Menchaca and Pfc. Thomas Tucker were part of a three-man team guarding a canal crossing next to the Euphrates River when they were taken captive south of Yousifiya on June 16.
“The two bodies, severely traumatized, were found bound together with an IED [makeshift bomb] between one of the soldiers’ legs,” it said.
The statement did not say where Menchaca and Tucker were killed nor which group was behind the killings, but it said two Al Qaeda in Iraq insurgents were killed in a search operation launched after the soldiers went missing.
A military spokesman said it was not clear when the two, whose bodies were found June 19 at an electricity plant, were killed.
A group linked to Al Qaeda had said it abducted the two American soldiers near Yousifiya.
The third soldier of the three-man team guarding the canal crossing, Spc. David Babineau, was killed when insurgents overwhelmed the soldiers’ position, the U.S. military statement said.