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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 April, 2003, 03:26 GMT 04:26 UK
Rescued POW returns to US
Jessica Lynch on a stretcher
Doctors said Private Lynch was in a "satisfactory condition"
An injured US servicewoman who was rescued after being captured in Iraq has arrived back in the United States.

Private Jessica Lynch, 19, was flown from Germany to Andrews Air Force Base, just outside Washington, along with her family and 49 other wounded soldiers.

Doctors said she was in a "satisfactory condition" and that they would spend the next days evaluating her injures, which include two broken legs, a broken arm, broken foot and broken ankle.

The army supply clerk was captured on 23 March when her unit of the 507th maintenance company was ambushed in the southern city of Nasiriya.

She was freed nine days later when US commandos stormed the Saddam Hospital in Nasiriya, reportedly acting on information from an Iraqi lawyer who had visited the hospital.

Commandos found the bodies of eight of Private Lynch's comrades who had initially been listed as missing in action.

Family's joy

The teenager, from Palestine, West Virginia, has become something of a national hero in the US and her return - from a military hospital in Germany - was broadcast live on many television channels.

Military video of rescue operation
Commandos rescued Lynch in a night-time raid
Lynch's family issued a statement thanking the public, US armed forces and medical teams as the C17 cargo plane left Germany on its nine-hour flight.

"It is almost impossible to express how grateful we are to the brave American service members who participated in Jesse's rescue and to the courageous Iraqi citizens who risked their lives to make her rescue possible.

"Jesse is alive because of their sacrifices. Jesse's recovery continues and she is doing well. She is in pain but in good spirits. Although she faces a lengthy rehabilitation, she is tough. We believe she will regain her strength soon."

Private Lynch is now convalescing at Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in Washington.

US POW 'freed after tip-off'
04 Apr 03  |  Middle East
Rescued POW flown to Germany
03 Apr 03  |  Middle East

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