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Army Investigates Allegations of Rape, Murder

The Army announces that it is investigating allegations that U.S. soldiers raped a woman, then killer her and three other people in March in the Iraqi town of Mahmoudiyah, south of Baghdad. The suspects in the case are a soldier from the 101st Airborne Division and another who was recently discharged.

The three other people killed in the house, two adults and a child, are believed to have been relatives of them woman. An Army official said they were all likely shot. Officials say they are unable to confirm reports that the woman's body was burned, and others that the house was burned down.

The investigation began when soldiers from Bravo Company were undergoing what is known as "combat stress debriefing." The unit recently lost two soldiers --- Privates Thomas Tucker and Kristian Menchaca -- who were killed by insurgents.

During counseling sessions with psychiatrists and mental-health workers, soldiers are routinely asked about any crimes they've witnessed. And two soldiers said they heard about a rape and murder involving other soldiers in the unit.

The active-duty soldier is said to be confined to his base in Iraq, where he is being interviewed by Army criminal investigators. And the Justice Department will be working with local law enforcement to apprehend the former soldier. If he is charged, he could be brought back to active duty and prosecuted.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Tom Bowman is a NPR National Desk reporter covering the Pentagon.