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Bodies of UK soldiers recovered

Staff Sgt. Cullingworth
Staff Sgt. Cullingworth

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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Two British soldiers whose bodies are believed to have been shown on Arab television last month have been found in shallow graves in southern Iraq, the British Ministry of Defence said Monday.

The bodies of Sapper Luke Allsopp, 24, and Staff Sgt. Simon Cullingworth, 36, were found near Al Zubayr outside of Basra, said MoD spokeswoman Jemma Blackborn.

An Iraqi resident led British troops to the graves, but it was unclear how the men died, said British officials at Central Command.

Forensic teams are examining the bodies, and the Special Investigation team of the British Military Police is conducting an investigation into how the soldiers died, said Capt. Emma Welch, with the British Press Office at Central Command in Qatar.

"Until the autopsies are complete, we cannot confirm exactly what happened," she said when asked about reports the soldiers had been executed.

The two men were members of the 33 Engineer Regiment which handled explosive ordnance retrieval. Cullingworth was from Essex and was married with two sons. Allsopp was from North London.

Last month, the Arab news network Al-Jazeera showed pictures of two dead Britons in uniform, surrounded by a mob.

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