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Thursday, April 3

Remains found at Iraqi hospital to be flown to U.S.

By Alex Neill | Military Times

DOHA, Qatar - Human remains recovered at the Iraqi hospital site where Special Operations commandos rescued Pfc. Jessica Lynch will be flown to Dover Air Force Base for pathological examination to determine identification and perhaps clear up questions about the fate of some of her fellow soldiers.

Although it's not known whether the remains include 11 soldiers missing since their supply convoy was ambushed March 23, U.S. uniform remnants were recovered along with the remains, a Central Command spokesman said Thursday. It was not clear when the remains would arrive at Dover or how long the identification process might take.

Navy Capt. Frank Thorp said the material was recovered both inside and outside Saddam Hospital in Nasiriyah, which Army Rangers and other commandos stormed Tuesday, snatching the gravely injured 19-year-old Lynch and whisking her out of the area. The West Virginia native arrived Wednesday night at the Army's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for treatment of injuries that included two broken legs and a broken arm.

Lynch and 14 other members of the Fort Bliss, Texas-based 507th Maintenance Company were captured when their convoy made a wrong turn onto a road not controlled by U.S. forces. Two soldiers were killed. Lynch and seven others were listed as missing in action. Five others were shown on Iraqi television as prisoners of war.

Thorp said Lynch ``waged quite a battle prior to her capture.

``We do have very strong indications that Jessica Lynch was not captured very easily,'' he said. ``Reports are that she fired her (M-16 rifle) until she had no more ammunition.''

Iraqi forces attacked the 507th Maintenance Company during some of the earliest fighting in Nasiriyah, a crossing point on the Euphrates River. Much of the fighting there has involved members of the Fedayeen Saddam and other Iraqi paramilitaries who have dressed as civilians and ambushed Americans.