Sixteen US troops form the 57th Unit of the Airborne Division have committed suicide inside a military base in Iraq, security sources say.
Iraqi security sources have revealed that 21 US troops had committed suicide inside a former Iraqi air force base 27 days ago, Fars News Agency reported on Monday.
According to the sources, the 21 troops were treated in a hospital but only five soldiers have survived and they are in a critical condition. Security officials said they used potent narcotics to kill themselves.
The troops' motivations for suicide are not known but according to Iraqi sources the servicemen belonged to the 57th Unit of the US Airborne Division that was behind the massacre of several Iraqi families-- mostly women and children-- in northern Baghdad, said Ali al-Baghdadi an Iraqi security official.
The suicides took place in the soldiers' dormitory after the dinner time.
"The bodies of the US troops became misshapen such a way that they looked like 5000-year mummies," said a witness.
According to Iraqi officials' estimates, some 600 US troops, including senior officers, have committed suicide in Iraq since the invasion of the country in 2003. Half of the suicide attempts have been successful.