Killing Drives Wedge Between Troops

Like most men from his impoverished Bedouin village, 17-year-old Falah Zaggam joined the Iraqi national guard for a job and steady paycheck. Federico Merida, 21, was raising a family and working at a furniture business in North Carolina when his U.S. National Guard unit was sent to Iraq earlier this year. Late one night last spring, the two guardsmen found themselves alone in a lookout tower at a military base here in Ad Dawr, near Tikrit in northern Iraq. They were supposed to be working together to ward off insurgents. But before the shift ended, Merida shot the Iraqi to death and threw his body off the tower. Full Story

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