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(photo credit: Courtesy)
US Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said the military has recovered what are believed were the remains of two missing soldiers.
He said the bodies were found late Monday by US troops.
"We have recovered what we believe are the remains of our two missing soldiers," he said. "They will be taken back to the United States for positive verification."
He said the remains were spotted late Monday and that US troops cordoned off the area and recovered the bodies early Tuesday.
"They have been moved to a coalition base and will be repatriated," Caldwell said.
He added that doctors in the United States would carry out a "complete autopsy on them and make a definitive determination as how they died and do DNA testing to confirm that it is in fact them."
He refused to comment on a report that the bodies bore signs of torture.
"Based upon how we found them it did not appear that they had just been mortally wounded and moved to a location on their own and died. Where we found them was not due to their own movement and that they in fact had been left there.
"The autopsy will give us a much better picture of what they died from. It is undeterminably at this point," he said.
According to Caldwell, the soldiers were ambushed by gunmen in a single vehicle.