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U.S. Soldiers in Iraq Free Hostage From al Qaeda

American Forces Press Service

BAQOUBA, Iraq, Oct. 30, 2007 – A 19-year-old man was rescued from an al Qaeda-in-Iraq prison in the village of Hammadi, 10 miles southwest of Baqouba, by 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, during an air assault Oct. 28.

The rescued hostage was found tied to a ceiling with his arms raised behind his back, which caused injuries to both arms. The man was treated at Forward Operating Base Warhorse for dehydration, joint injuries, bruises and abrasions.

The man was kidnapped on Oct. 25 in Baqouba “at a shop by five men in a car, because of my brother who is in the Iraqi army,” he said. “They wanted information and for my brother and me to work for al Qaeda.”

Nonetheless, the young man did not give al Qaeda in Iraq the information or his allegiance. He said he was slated to stand “trial” held by an al Qaeda leader for refusing to help al Qaeda, for which the punishment is death.

“They beat me with cables while holding a gun to my head, but I would not work for them, because I would not betray my brother,” he stated. “These are very bad guys; they do bad things. I would never support them.”

“This is an example of al Qaeda attempting to force their own goals and agenda on the Iraqi people,” said Lt. Col. Marshall Dougherty, commander of 2nd Battalion, 1st Cavalry Regiment. “They have rejected al Qaeda and all that they represent outright, even under the kind of extreme torture and certain death that this brave young man was facing.”

(From a Multinational Force Iraq news release.)

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