The identity of the soldier who killed five comrades Monday in Iraq has been revealed, though his motive remains a mystery. Sergeant John M. Russell, a 44-year-old from Texas on his third tour of duty in Iraq, snapped at a stress clinic in Baghdad, turning a weapon on his brothers in arms and fatally injuring five. The Washington Post reports that one of Russell’s commanders had taken his weapon away, an uncommon decision that indicates he was showing signs of severe depression. The tragedy highlights the growing problem of suicide among the armed forces: In 2008, 140 soldiers killed themselves, a sharp increase from 2007. In April, it was reported that at least 48 soldiers had taken their own lives so far in 2009.
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