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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 May 2007, 06:31 GMT 07:31 UK
Body in river named as US soldier
Joseph Anzack Jr (February 2007 file photo)
Pfc Joseph Anzack Jr went missing with two colleagues
The US military has confirmed that a body pulled from the Euphrates river in Musayyib, south of Baghdad, is one of three US soldiers missing in Iraq.

Spokeswoman Lt Col Josslyn Aberle said the body was that of Private First Class Joseph Anzack Jr from California.

Pte Anzack went missing, along with two comrades, on 12 May after his patrol was ambushed near Mahmudiya.

The attack, in which four US soldiers and their translator died, sparked a massive manhunt for the missing men.

Bullet wounds

Iraqi police retrieved the body from the river on Wednesday. They said it was dressed in what appeared to be US army trousers and boots, and had a tattoo on the left arm.

There were bullet wounds to the head and chest, Babil police Capt Muthana Khalid said.

About 4,000 US soldiers and 2,000 Iraqi soldiers have been involved in a massive search for the men since it was discovered that they were missing from the ambush site where the two Humvees they had been travelling in were attacked.

The US military has offered rewards of up to $200,000 (100,000) for information leading to the soldiers' return.

The Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella group of militants led by al-Qaeda, had claimed to be holding the soldiers.

In an unverified statement posted on an Islamist website, the militant group told the US: "If you want them safe, do not search for them."

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