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Rescue of Missing Troops Remains Top Priority for US Forces - 2003-04-09


With U.S.-led coalition forces cleaning up pockets of resistance around Iraq, the Pentagon has not forgotten Americans taken prisoner or missing during nearly three weeks of fighting.

Senior Pentagon officials will not discuss the find by American forces at a military prison in Baghdad of bloodied American uniforms, believed to belong to some of the seven soldiers listed as prisoners of war.

But Major General Stanley McChrystal of the Pentagon's Joint Staff says rescuing the POW's remains a top priority. "We'll continue to demonstrate just how important any prisoners of war are to us, and our desire to rescue them will not stop," he says. "And we are conducting intelligence gathering and operations to support that."

One American soldier, Army Private First Class Jessica Lynch, was rescued from an Iraqi hospital by U.S. forces acting on intelligence information.

But seven other Americans remain POW's, with ten additional Americans missing and unaccounted for , including two airmen whose F-15 went down in Iraq late Sunday in a previously undisclosed incident. Search and rescue operations for the crew are continuing.

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