American forces rescue Iraq PoW Jessica Lynch

US troops rescued Jessica Lynch, who had been held as a prisoner of war in Iraq since March 23.

india Updated: Apr 02, 2003 11:01 IST

US troops rescued Army PFC Jessica Lynch, who had been held as a prisoner of war in Iraq since she and other members of her unit were ambushed on March 23, the Defence Department announced.

Lynch, 19, of Palestine, West Virginia, had been missing since nine days ago with 11 other US soldiers from the 507th Maintenance Company. The unit was ambushed near Nasiriyah after making a wrong turn during early fighting in the invasion of Iraq. Five other members of her unit were later shown on Iraqi television answering questions from their Iraqi captors.

Lynch had been listed as missing in action but was identified by the Pentagon yesterday as a POW. She was not among the seven US soldiers - including the five from the 507th shown on television - formally listed as prisoners of war.

The rescued soldier's hometown erupted in celebration at the news.

"They said it was going to be the biggest party this road had ever seen," Lynch's cousin Sherri McFee said as fire and police sirens blared in the background.

"Everybody was really worried ... But we all remained hopeful and knew she would be home," McFee said.

Brig Gen Vincent Brooks at Central Command headquarters in Qatar announced today that a US POW had been rescued yesterday but refused to provide any further details.

First Published: Apr 02, 2003 10:44 IST