04/01/03 19:30 ET (AP)
WASHINGTON – An American prisoner of war has been rescued in Iraq, U.S. officials said Tuesday.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said U.S. Central Command was announcing the rescue in Qatar later Tuesday.
The Pentagon has listed seven Americans as captured by Iraq since the outbreak of the war.
The officials said the rescue involved one of the seven.
The development came as American ground troops battled Republican Guard troops around Karbala, a holy Shiite Muslim city about 50 miles south of Baghdad. It was unknown whether the fighting was related to the POW situation.
Two U.S. Army pilots were captured March 24 by Iraqi forces after their Apache helicopter was forced down during heavy fighting in central Iraq. A day earlier, five U.S. Army soldiers had been captured near Nasiriyah, a crossing point over the Euphrates River.
The POWs were displayed on television by the Iraqis in separate broadcasts.
In addition to the POWs, the Pentagon’s official tally of the number of Americans missing is 16.