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American POW Rescued From Iraqis

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2003 – An American POW taken during fighting around Nasiriyah has been rescued, Central Command officials announced tonight.

Pfc. Jessica Lynch, 19, of the 507th Maintenance Battalion based at Fort Bliss, Texas, was rescued during an operation near the Iraqi city, Army officials said.

"Coalition forces have conducted a rescue of an Army prisoner of war held captive in Iraq," said Army Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, CENTCOM deputy chief of operations from forward headquarters in Doha, Qatar. "The soldier has been returned to a coalition-controlled area."

More details of the rescue will be released later, Brooks said.

Lynch was captured March 23 after Iraqi irregular force ambushed the convoy she was riding in. The Army had listed her as missing in action.

Defense officials also confirmed that heavy fighting is going on in Karbala. Reports from embedded media say that American forces are engaged with Republican Guard divisions north and east of the city. Reports said the fighting is "escalating."

Coalition forces rescued two naval aviators after they ejected from their F-14 Tomcat fighter jet over southern Iraq, officials reported. The crewmen, assigned to the USS Kitty Hawk, are in good condition. Hostile fire is not a factor in the accident.

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