Iraq shows off POWs, US cites Geneva Convention

Pentagon confirmed that some of the 10 soldiers missing in southern Iraq have been captured prisoner.
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Updated on Mar 24, 2003 07:37 AM IST
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PTI | By Agencies, Washington/baghdad

The Pentagon on Sunday confirmed that some of the 10 US soldiers reported missing in southern Iraq have been captured prisoner and has begun notifying their families, CNN reported.

The network said the families had begun to be notified shortly after the Arabic-language television network Al-Jazeera started to broadcast videotape of interviews with men and women who appeared to be US prisoners of war.

Iraqi television on Sunday showed film of at least four bodies, said to be US soldiers, and five prisoners who said they were American.

Two of the prisoners, including a woman, appeared to be wounded.  The prisoners were questioned on air and gave their names, military identification numbers and home towns.

The bodies and prisoners were shown on Iraqi television , relayed by Al-Jazeera, which said the dead and wounded came from a battle near the southern Iraqi city of Nassiriya, where US Marines are fighting for control.

The first prisoner shown gave his name as Miller and said he was from Kansas. Asked why he had come to Iraq he replied: "Because I was told to come here. I was just under orders. I was told to shoot -- only if I'm shot at. I don't want to kill anybody."

A grim-faced US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said earlier that the video would be a violation of international rules of war, if it did in fact show US prisoners of war.

"The Geneva Convention indicates that it's not permitted to photograph and embarrass or humiliate prisoners of warm," Rumsfeld said on CBS television.

Al-Jazeera also reported that Iraqi troops had found two US or British aircrew hiding in reeds on the edge of the Tigris river in Baghdad on Sunday. But US and British authorities denied any allied aircraft were missing.

A live transmission showed the troops searching the reeds and then reported that two men had been captured, but they were not immediately seen on the screen.

In Washington top US military commander General Richard Myers said on ABC television, "We checked just before coming on the air, and all planes are reported safe at this point.

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