CAMP AS SALIYAH, Qatar April 2 —
Eleven bodies were found with prisoner of war Jessica Lynch when
the Army supply clerk was rescued in a U.S. commando raid on an
Iraqi hospital, a military spokesman said Wednesday.
Navy Capt. Frank Thorp, a U.S. Central Command spokesman, said it
was not immediately known whether any of the dead were Americans. He
said the 11 were not killed during the rescue operation.
Lynch, 19, was seized after her unit, the 507th Maintenance
Company, made a wrong turn March 23 and was ambushed in the
Euphrates River city of Nasiriyah. A dozen other members of her unit
remain unaccounted for, including five listed as prisoners of
An intelligence tip led U.S. special operations forces to the
hospital in Nasiriyah where Lynch was being held, officials said.
Thorp would not confirm reports that troops used a battlefield
diversion to slip into the hospital.
He said Lynch was being treated for her injuries at an American
military facility Wednesday. He said he had no details on her
condition or the nature of her injuries.
"In the same operation we recovered 11 bodies in and around the
facility. We don't yet know the identity of those people," Thorp
said. "And forensics will determine that."
The 507th was attacked during some of the first fighting in
Nasiriyah, where Fedayeen loyalists and other hardcore Iraqi
fighters have dressed as civilians and ambushed Americans.
Not long after the ambush, five of Lynch's comrades showed up in
a video shown on Iraqi television being asked questions by their
The video also showed bodies, apparently of U.S. soldiers, which
led Pentagon officials to accuse Iraq of executing some of its
prisoners. Officials believe the video was made in the Nasiriyah
Lynch, an aspiring teacher from Palestine, W.Va., joined the Army
to get an education, her family said. She left a farming community
with an unemployment rate of 15 percent, one of the highest levels
in West Virginia.
A private first class, she was following in the footsteps of her
older brother Gregory, a National Guardsman based at Fort Bragg,
N.C. Jessica Lynch enlisted through the Army's delayed-entry program
before graduating from high school.
"You would not believe the joys, cries, bawling, hugging,
screaming, carrying on," Lynch's cousin Pam Nicolais said after the
rescue. "You just have to be here."
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., called the rescue a miracle.
"God watched over Jessica and her family," Rockefeller said
through a spokesman in Washington. "All of West Virginia is
rejoicing. This is an amazing tribute to the skill and courage of
|RETRANSMITTED TO CORRECT DATE OF
AMBUSH TO MARCH 23, NOT MARCH 24 ** Jessica Lynch, 19, seen in
this undated photo, one of several soldiers who went missing
after their supply convoy was ambushed in southern Iraq, March
24, 2003 was rescued, the Pentagon confirmed Tuesday, April 1,
2003. Lynch, 19, of Palestine, W.Va., worked as a supply clerk
with the Army's 507th Maintenance Co. (AP Photo/Family
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