[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 November, 2003, 06:26 GMT
'I'm no hero,' says Jessica Lynch
Private Jessica Lynch after her rescue by US Special Forces
Lynch said she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time
US soldier Jessica Lynch, who was taken prisoner in the Iraqi conflict, has praised her rescuers as the true heroes of her story.

In her first TV interview, broadcast on Tuesday, she criticised the Pentagon's handling of her rescue as propaganda.

"They used me as a way to symbolise all this stuff, It's wrong," she said.

Miss Lynch and six other US soldiers were captured in an ambush near the Iraqi city of Nasiriya in March.

'Painful'

Eleven other US soldiers, including Miss Lynch's 23-year-old friend Lori Piestewa, died in the attack, after the convoy took a wrong turn.

I'm just a survivor
Jessica Lynch
Miss Lynch, who was serving as an Army supply clerk, suffered broken bones and other injuries in the incident.

The Pentagon initially said that Miss Lynch had been wounded by Iraqi gunfire but had kept fighting until her ammunition ran out.

But Miss Lynch, a slight woman who was just 19 at the time of the incident, said her gun had jammed and she could not fire back.

She also said Piestewa and others had been far more brave.

"I was just there in that spot, you know, the wrong place, the wrong time," she said.

"I'm just a survivor."

Extensive injuries

In her first interview about what happened to her, the former prisoner-of-war also told ABC medical reports indicated that she had been raped.

She said she had no recollection of the attack. "Even just the thinking about that, that's too painful," she told interviewer Diane Sawyer.

Initial reports suggested that Miss Lynch had been abused after she came round in the hospital. She says that again was untrue - there was no mistreatment, and one nurse used to sing to her.

Miss Lynch was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Prisoner of War medals while still in hospital in Washington DC.

Months later, she is receiving treatment for her extensive injuries.

Miss Lynch's interview with ABC and other major news networks coincided with the release of her authorised biography - I am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story - to be released by publisher Alfred A Knopf on Tuesday.

The book was co-authored with former New York Times journalist Rick Bragg, who resigned from the paper after allegations some of his work relied too heavily on contributions by a freelancer.


SEE ALSO:
Jessica Lynch 'raped' in Iraq
06 Nov 03 |  Americas
Private Lynch signs $1m book deal
03 Sep 03 |  Americas
Army 'error' led to Lynch capture
10 Jul 03 |  Americas
US rejects BBC Lynch report
20 May 03 |  Americas
Saving Private Lynch story 'flawed'
15 May 03 |  Correspondent


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific