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US POW Rescued in Iraq - 2003-04-02

A U.S. Army prisoner of war has been rescued in Iraq. The surprise announcement comes as coalition forces are engaged in a massive battle with Iraqi troops south of Baghdad.

The rescue of an Army POW was made by Brigadier General Vincent Brooks at the U.S. military's Central Command headquarters in Qatar. "Coalition forces have conducted a successful rescue mission of a U.S. Army prisoner of war held captive in Iraq," he said. "The soldier has been returned to a coalition controlled area."

General Brooks refused to provide any other details. But other defense sources identified the rescued prisoner as 19-year-old Private First Class Jessica Lynch. She was originally listed among 16 military personnel considered missing and not among the seven other Americans officially regarded as prisoners.

The dramatic announcement came as U.S. ground forces engaged Iraqi Republican Guard troops in a major battle near Karbala, a town some 80 kilometers south of Baghdad.