Iraq Slaying Probe Focuses on Pa. Guardsmen

Associated Press
Saturday, June 24, 2006

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 23 -- Two Pennsylvania National Guardsmen are being investigated in the shooting death of an Iraqi civilian earlier this year and have not returned to the United States with the rest of their unit, a Guard spokesman said Friday.

The two soldiers, Spec. Nathan B. Lynn, 21, of South Williamsport, Pa., and Sgt. Milton Ortiz Jr., 36, of Islip, N.Y., were members of a combat team whose members began returning home earlier this month after a one-year deployment.

Lt. Col. Chris Cleaver, spokesman for the Pennsylvania National Guard, said the Army is handling the investigation. He said he could not release other details.

Army Sgt. Doug Anderson, a military spokesman in Baghdad, had no immediate comment.

The Harrisburg Patriot-News, which reported on the investigation on Friday, quoted an unidentified member of Lynn's unit as saying that the civilian was shot in February during a search of a home in Jazeera, near Ramadi.

Lynn's father, Williamsport Police Department Capt. William Lynn, told the newspaper that his son maintains his innocence.

The allegations surfaced as seven Marines and a Navy medic are facing charges that they killed an Iraqi civilian and covered up the crime in April, and as four Army soldiers are facing murder charges in the shooting deaths of three Iraq civilians in May. Also, a group of Marines are under investigation in the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha last year.

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