[JURIST] The US military is investigating reports that five US soldiers raped a young woman in the city of Mahmudiyah [globalsecurity.org backgrounder; also "Mahmoudiyah", "Mahmoudiya" or "Mahmudiya"] and then killed her and three family members last March, an anonymous official told AP Friday. According to another official, one of the soldiers under investigation came forward on June 22 to confess to the rape and slaying, prompting the investigation. One of the soldiers has already been discharged back to the United States, while four others are being held at a military base in Mahmudiyah.
Fourteen US soldiers have been convicted for their involvement in Iraqi civilian deaths since the beginning of the war. Two soldiers were charged with voluntary manslaughter and obstructing justice [JURIST report] on Sunday for shooting an unarmed Iraqi civilian, and earlier this month, the US Army charged four soldiers for the deaths of Iraqi detainees [JURIST report; US Central Command press release on charging of fourth] in the northern province of Salahuddin. Last week seven Marines and a Navy corpsman were charged with murder and kidnapping [JURIST report] in connection with the April 26 death of an Iraqi man outside his home in Hamdania. Military investigations into the alleged killing of 24 Iraqi civilians [JURIST report] by Marines in the city of Haditha in November, 2005 are ongoing. AP has more.