By PETER GRAFF AND SUADAD AL-SALHY | REUTERS ARABNEWS
BAGHDAD: A Shiite militia has handed over the body of the last US soldier missing in Iraq, closing a final chapter of the war two months after US troops left and more than five years after the soldier vanished while secretly visiting his wife in Baghdad.
A source in Shiite militia Asaib Al-Haq said the group had acted as an “intermediary” in handing the body of American soldier Ahmed Al-Taie to the Iraqi government. The source denied the group was behind his abduction and killing.
Sami Al-Askari, a Shiite lawmaker close to Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki, said the Iraqi government had received the body from Asaib Al-Haq on Wednesday and passed it immediately to the US embassy.
In Washington, a State Department official said the body had been handed over by the Iraqi government and subsequently turned over to the Defense Department, which confirmed it was that of the missing soldier.
“We received the remains from the government of Iraq, so there was no contact or association between the US and AAH,” the official said, referring to Asaib Al-Haq.