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US investigates Iraqi's rape and murder
The US military is investigating allegations that American soldiers may raped an Iraqi woman and murdered her and three members of her family, including a child.
Confirming another major investigation into alleged killing and abuse of Iraqi civilians by at least three US soldiers, one officer said the incident in March just south of Baghdad had initially been blamed on insurgents active in the area.
The probe is the latest in a series launched in recent weeks since the revelation of investigations into the killings of 24 people in Haditha in November.
Officers said a criminal probe was launched on June 24 into whether soldiers killed four people in their home at Mahmudiya on March 12.
Police in the district said they could not recall a case meeting the description given by the US military.
Major-General James Thurman, the commander of the Baghdad area, ordered the army's Criminal Investigation Command to mount a full investigation within a day of two soldiers coming forward, the military said in its brief initial statement.
Major Todd Breasseale, a US military spokesman, said in Baghdad: "We're not going to leave any stone unturned."
In Washington, an army official said the suspicion was that two soldiers from the 502nd Infantry Regiment, later seen with blood on their uniforms, had raped a young woman and then one of them killed her and three of her family, among them a child.