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US military in Iraq denies finding abducted soldier dead

BAGHDAD, Nov 5 (KUNA) -- The media coordinator for the Joint Multi-National Force centre, Janah Hamoud, on Monday quashed reports that a US soldier in Iraq, abducted with other two in May, had been found dead.
"No MNF press release or report mentioned that the dead body of a kidnapped US soldier was found late yesterday," Hamoud said citing the MNF media advisor.
Hamoud noted that the MNF was seeking explanation from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense which reported the corpse had been found.
Ministry spokesman, Mohammad Al-Askari, had told reporters that joint Iraq and US troops "had found, two days before, the dead body of an abducted US soldier north of Al-Hella." On May 12 insurgents attacked a US patrol near Al-Mahmoudia, south of Baghdad, killing four soldiers and an Iraqi translator as well as abducting three other soldiers.
Later on "the Islamic State of Iraq" group claimed responsibility for the attack.
According to the Iraqi Ministry spokesman, the joint troops had raided the area of Garaf Al-Sakhr, 60 km north of Al-Hella where they found the dead body of the third soldier and arrested four suspects.
Following the May kidnap, the US military announced USD 200,000 bounty for information about the three soldiers. Ten days later one of the three was found dead at the time when the group released a video saying that its militants had executed the three. The tape only showed two of the soldiers' IDs while the fate of the third is still unknown.(end) mhg.msa KUNA 051341 Nov 07NNNN