Thursday, April 1, 1999 Published at 16:51 GMT 17:51 UK
America wakes to US PoWs
The three soldiers captured by Serb forces
This morning Americans woke to see images of the three captured American soldiers as they appeared on Serbian television.
"We're pretty much in shock," said Jim Stone, father of captured Staff Sgt Christopher J Stone.
The images were a shock not only because the men were bruised and bloodied, but also because America went to bed on Wednesday night knowing only that three US soldiers were missing.
They have been identified as:
In an ominous final radio message, they said they had come under small arms fire and were surrounded.
On Thursday morning, US television placed a great deal of emphasis on the fact that the soldiers were bruised and bloodied.
In an exclusive interview with the BBC, Serb paramilitary commander Zeljko Raznatovic, also known as 'Arkan', praised the bravery of the captured Americans:
"They were brave soldiers," he said "They did not want to be captured so they fought and got a little hurt, but that is all."
But some Americans were confused by the capture.
Many believed that US ground troops were not involved in the military campaign, particularly after President Clinton and several members of the military and his administration reiterated their opposition to using ground troops on Wednesday.
The precise details of the capture of the three men are not known yet, but it is thought that men may have accidentally strayed away from their group and across the Kosovo border.
'Could change public opinion'
The TV images could turn public opinion against the Nato air strikes, says BBC Washington Correspondent Katty Kay.
This could in turn affect Washington's policy on continued intervention.
So far, opinion polls have favoured the Western military action in the Balkans, but the US public is highly sensitive to the fate of its servicemen stationed abroad.