Baghdad, Iraq An al-Qaida-linked group claims it killed three U.S. soldiers last month and mutilated two of their bodies to avenge the rape-slaying of a young Iraqi woman by troops of the same unit, an institute that monitors extremists Web sites said today.
The Mujahedeen Shura Council made the claim in a 4:39 minute video posted on the Internet which included the mutilated bodies of two of the soldiers attacked June 16 near Youssifiyah southwest of Baghdad, according to a statement by the SITE Institute. Their remains were found three days later.
The institute released still pictures from the video showing two of the American dead, one of whom had been decapitated.
According to the institute, the statement by the insurgent group said the video was released as "revenge for our sister who was dishonored by a soldier of the same brigade."
Two sergeants are among five American soldiers charged in the March 12 alleged rape-murder and the killing her parents and a younger sister. The U.S. military released the identities of the suspects Monday.
A previously discharged soldier had been arrested in the case last month and charged with rape and murder.
According to the SITE Institute, the statement by the insurgents said that as soon as fighters heard of the rape-slaying, "they kept their anger to themselves and didn't spread the news."
"They decided to take revenge for their sister's honor," the statement said. "With Allah's help, they captured two soldiers of the same brigade as this dirty crusader."