Brother Breaks Silence Regarding Missing Marine

Brother Breaks Silence Regarding Missing Marine

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(Beirut, Lebanon-AP) -- The Utah brother of the US Marine who disappeared in Iraq broke his silence this evening, saying the family was grateful to have him alive.

41-year-old Mohamad Hassoun spoke to reporters from his house in West Jordan for the first time since the Marine turned up missing June 20th.

Officials confirmed that Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun was at the US Embassy in his native Lebanon.

Mohamad says he's spoken to his brother and that he's doing well -- but he couldn't offer any details about his disappearance.

The Navy says it's investigating whether the abduction might have been a hoax.

Mohamad wouldn't comment on that.

Hassoun was reported missing from his base near the troubled city of Fallujah 18 days ago.

He was depicted in a video on an Arab TV station blindfolded and with a sword over his head.

But in the latest twists to Hassoun's story, there is speculation he might have deserted his base and headed to Lebanon when he was abducted.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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