At least one and possibly both of the soldiers who were mutilated and killed in Iraq last weekend was beheaded, a U.S. military official said Wednesday.

The description by the official, who was in Washington, confirmed fears that were raised by other U.S. and Iraqi officials who have said the mens' bodies showed sign of brutal treatment.

The official requested anonymity because the final report on the bodies' conditions has not been formally released.

On Tuesday, after Iraqi officials disclosed that the bodies were found, the Shura Council posted a Web statement, saying that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's successor had "slaughtered" the soldiers. The language in the statement, which could not be authenticated, suggested the group was saying the men were beheaded.

CountryWatch: Iraq