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Marine Deserter is Returned

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A Marine Corps spokesman says a corporal who disappeared in Iraq a decade ago and was later declared a deserter is in custody at a North Carolina brig.

Lt. Col. Cliff W. Gilmore of the II Marine Expeditionary Force said Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun returned to Camp Lejeune on Monday.

Gilmore said Hassoun was in the Middle East when he contacted U.S. authorities to give himself up. Gilmore wouldn’t say what country.

Hassoun was born in Lebanon and is a naturalized American citizen.

Hassoun disappeared from his unit in Iraq in 2004. He soon turned up unharmed in Lebanon and said he’d been kidnapped by Islamic extremists. He disappeared again before facing the military equivalent of a grand jury.

He was declared a deserter in January 2005.

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