Iraqi Police: Body Found in U.S. Uniform

Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraqi police found the body of a man who was wearing what appeared to be a U.S. military uniform and had a tattoo on his left hand floating in the Euphrates River south of Baghdad on Wednesday morning, and one Iraqi official said it was one of three missing American soldiers.

The man had been shot in the head and chest, Babil police Capt. Muthana Khalid said. He said Iraqi police turned the body over the U.S. forces.

The report of the body found was confirmed by a senior Iraqi army officer in the Babil area. He told The Associated Press that the body found in the river was that of an American soldier. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

The discovery of the body in Musayyib, about 40 miles south of Baghdad in Babil Province, came as U.S. troops and Iraqi forces continued their massive search for the three soldiers abducted May 12 in an ambush on their patrol near Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad.

The U.S. military said in an e-mail that it was looking into the report, but could not confirm it.

In an interview with the Army Times newspaper last week, Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said he believed at least two of the missing soldiers were alive.

"As of this morning, we thought there were at least two that were probably still alive," he said in the interview, which was posted on the newspaper's Web site on Saturday. "At one point in time there was a sense that one of them might have died, but again we just don't know."