An American Marine who had been reported executed last month in Iraq has mysteriously appeared at the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, reports Voice of America.
The fate of Lebanese-American Marine Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun had been a mystery, until Thursday. He disappeared from his base in Iraq last month and was initially reported to have been beheaded after Islamic websites posted a photo of him with a knife above his head and being held by militants. But just days later, the Marine was reported alive and in a safe location even having contacted family members.
According to Reuters, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the 24-year-old corporal, who disappeared from his unit on June 21, had been picked up in Beirut after making contact.
"We were able to go get him this morning," Boucher told reporters in Washington. Other officials said Hassoun seemed to be in good health, but details about him were sketchy.
In another twist to the story, relatives of Hassoun fought a gunbattle with a family who taunted them as U.S. agents in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, witnesses said. At least two people were killed and several were wounded in the incident.