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Alabama soldier among 4 killed in sneak attack

LOCUST FORK (AP) — An Alabama soldier was among four U.S. soldiers abducted and killed during a sneak attack in Iraq that was confirmed by the Pentagon on Friday, but the military apparently did not tell his wife and family about the abduction at first.

Army Pfc. Johnathan Millican, 20, a 2005 graduate of Locust Fork High School, was among the four listed as being abducted and killed in the Jan. 20 strike in Karbala.

Thought it was ambush

While Millican’s family and friends initially understood from the military that the troops died in an ambush, the Pentagon said Friday the four actually were abducted in a sophisticated attack and then killed.

Linda Hill, a close friend of the family, said Shannon Millican was talking with her husband by Web cam from Iraq on Saturday when something began happening on his end.

“She heard somebody holler for them to run, and John took off. She said it was later that his computer was logged off,” Hill said. “A casualty officer came later and told her what had happened.”

Hill said she received a call from Shannon informing her that Millican had been killed.

“The way she understood it was an SUV had come through that they thought was American military,” said Hill. “When it came through it went up to the building they were trying to secure and there was a bomb, and that’s the way they were killed.”

Rumors of rocket attack

Hill said there were also rumors of a possible rocket-propelled grenade attack, but that no one was positive what happened. She had not heard anything of a possible abduction.

Millican, a friend of Hill’s son, lived with Hill and her family for about 21/2 years before graduating high school, where he began dating Shannon. Hil said she also has talked with the military about Millican’s death because he was like part of her family.

“He called me `Mom.’ He sent me a Mother’s Day card,” she said.

Not knowing details of Millican’s death only makes it tougher to deal with, she said.

The military said Millican was among four U.S. soldiers who were abducted during a sophisticated sneak attack last week.

Millican, a member of an airborne artillery brigade, had been in Iraq about three months. The former high school football player was based at Fort Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska, where his wife lives.

Shannon Millican is headed home to Alabama, where her husband’s funeral will be held when the military releases his remains, Hill said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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