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Last Updated:  Thursday, 3 April, 2003, 12:30 GMT 13:30 UK
Rescued POW flown to Germany
Jessica Lynch is stretchered off the plane after arriving in Germany
Private Lynch is likely to be treated for both injuries and mental trauma
A teenage US servicewoman held captive for a week in Iraq has arrived in Germany for treatment at an American military hospital.

Private Jessica Lynch, 19, has two broken legs, an injured arm and multiple gunshot wounds, but is said to be in a stable condition.

In a 15-minute phone call to her family - the first since her ordeal ended - she said she hadn't eaten in eight days and was hungry, but "real spirited", her father said.

The army supply clerk was captured on 23 March when her convoy was ambushed in the southern city of Nasiriya.

'Fought to the death'

There is as yet no clear picture of the circumstances of her capture, but intelligence suggests Private Lynch fought a heroic battle, US officials told the Washington Post newspaper.

Ambushed by Iraqi forces, she continued firing back even after she had already been hit multiple times herself and had seen several other soldiers in her unit die around her, one official told the paper.

"She was fighting to the death," the official said. "She did not want to be taken alive."

Her family described their joy at the discovery she was alive and in safe hands to reporters on Wednesday.

"The relief... it came up from the bottom of my legs," said her brother, Gregory.

He said he felt "overwhelming gratitude" to her rescuers.

Her parents said the news was "wonderful".

"At first I thought it might be an April fool's joke," said her father Greg.

"I asked them to say the name several times."

US marine commanders say 11 bodies were also taken away during the rescue operation, some of which may be American.

Jessica and her rescuers are all heroes and will inspire prisoners to keep heart
David, UK

They were not killed in the mission to rescue Private Lynch, said US Captain Frank Thorpe.

Officers say the special forces team was in and out of the hospital in less than 20 minutes.

Five other members of the 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company captured during the ambush were forced to answer questions on Iraqi television - drawing harsh condemnation from Washington.

Private Lynch was not among that group.

The BBC's Matt Frei
"The war has produced its first heroine"

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