Pair of Schofield soldiers charged in murder
BAGHDAD » Two U.S. Army soldiers have been charged with the premeditated murder of an Iraqi, and a lieutenant colonel has been relieved of command in connection with the case, the U.S. military announced today.
Sgt. 1st Class Trey Corrales of San Antonio and Spc. Christopher Shore of Winder, Ga., were charged with one count of murder in the death, which allegedly occurred June 23 near the northern city of Kirkuk, the military said in a statement.
The soldiers are assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, which is part of the 25th Infantry Division based at Schofield Barracks. The unit is attached to Multinational Division-North.
The battalion commander, Lt. Col. Michael Browder, was relieved of his command in connection with the investigation although he is not a suspect and has not been charged, the military said.
Meanwhile, four U.S. soldiers and their Iraqi interpreter were killed yesterday when a roadside bomb exploded near their patrol in eastern Baghdad. The blast occurred during operations to disrupt the flow of explosives into the capital, the military said today.
The U.S. command announced yesterday the arrest of an al-Qaida leader it said served as the link between the organization's command in Iraq and Osama bin Laden's inner circle, enabling it to wield considerable influence over the Iraqi group.
The announcement was made as the White House steps up efforts to link the war in Iraq to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, with a growing number of Americans opposing the Iraq conflict. Some independent analysts question the extent of al-Qaida's role in Iraq.
Khaled Abdul-Fattah Dawoud Mahmoud al-Mashhadani was the highest-ranking Iraqi in the al-Qaida in Iraq leadership when he was captured July 4 in Mosul, U.S. military spokesman Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner said.
Bergner told reporters that al-Mashhadani carried messages from bin Laden, and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri, to the Egyptian-born head of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Ayyub al-Masri.
"There is a clear connection between al-Qaida in Iraq and al-Qaida senior leadership outside Iraq," Bergner said.