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US Marine Missing in Iraq Safe in Lebanon - 2004-07-08


A U.S. Marine who was reported missing in Iraq and believed captured by Islamic militants is alive and safe at the American Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon.

The State Department says Lebanese-born Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun contacted the embassy in Beirut, and he was picked up. The military is investigating his disappearance.

Corporal Hassoun disappeared June 21st in Iraq. Arabic television later broadcast a videotape showing the blindfolded Marine translator and masked militants threatening to behead him.

At one point, the 24-year old Marine was reported killed, but militants later said he was alive.

In the corporal's hometown of Tripoli, Lebanon, at least one person died in a gunbattle between the Marine's relatives and a group of people who accused the Hassoun clan of collaborating with the Americans.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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