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GI’s Mom Doesn’t Care About al-Qaida Claim

July 13, 2006

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) _ The mother of a soldier killed by insurgents in Iraq said Wednesday she did not care about claims by a group linked to al-Qaida that her son’s slaying was revenge for the rape of an Iraqi girl who was allegedly attacked by American troops.

The Mujahedeen Shura Council has claimed responsibility for the death of 23-year-old Pfc. Kristian Menchaca and released a grisly video of two bodies with a statement describing Menchaca’s slaying and that of a second soldier as revenge killings.

Maria Vasquez said she would not watch the video and had little interest in news from Iraq.

``I don’t care. Leave him in peace,″ she said. ``He’s passed, and it’s past,″ she said.

Menchaca and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker, 25, of Madras, Ore., were snatched in a June 16 attack near Youssifiyah, southwest of Baghdad. Their bodies were found June 20.

A third soldier was killed in the attack.

On Tuesday, the group posted the video with a statement that said the killings were ``revenge for our sister who was dishonored by a soldier of the same brigade.″

The girl was allegedly raped and killed March 12 in her family’s home. Her parents and a younger sister were also slain. The U.S military has charged five soldiers in the case. A previously discharged soldier has also been charged.

U.S. investigators have said no evidence links the deaths of the three soldiers to the rape.

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