Captive American Soldiers Shown on Television

PRAVDA.Ru publishes photos of captive American soldier

US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stated that the broadcast of the footage was a breach of the Geneva Convention. In the meantime, the American television (including the one that is funded from the state budget), broadcasts the footage of captive Iraqi soldiers. Who broke the convention first?

Pentagon sources have said dead American soldiers shown on Iraqi TV alongside prisoners of war appeared to have been executed.

US officials told Sky News the dead soldiers had bullet holes in their head.

Sky's Keith Graves, in Washington, said the sources suggested the soldiers may have been executed.

Iraqi TV broadcasted pictures showing at least four bodies and five soldiers it said were American POWs.

Two of the prisoners, including a woman, appeared to be injured. One soldier was shown lying on a mat.

Iraqi TV said the soldiers were captured near Nasiriyah, where a battle has been raging with US troops.

The US military said that 12 American troops were missing following the ambush of a supply convoy but did not confirm they were the prisoners shown on Iraqi TV.

The town is a major crossing point over the Euphrates River 200 miles southeast of Baghdad.

Four bodies it said were Americans were shown in a morgue.

The prisoners were interrogated on air and gave their names, military identification numbers and home towns.

Associated Press said they gave their names, military identification numbers and home towns.

One of the men, sitting up, was being interviewed by an unseen person holding a microphone labelled "Iraqi TV".

The soldier spoke in English and at one point said: "I'm sorry. I don't understand you", Associated Press reported.

"I come to shoot only if I am shot at," one prisoner said.

Asked why he was fighting Iraqis, he replied: "They don't bother me; I don't bother them."

Another prisoner, who said he was from Texas, said only: "I follow orders."

A voice off-camera asked how many officers were in his unit. "I don't know sir," the soldier replied.

The pictures were shown on Iraqi TV and were relayed by Al Jazeera satellite television network.

The Pentagon expressed outrage over the footage.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfield said Iraq was in breach of the Geneva conventions governing the accepted rules of war by showing the film.

He admitted some US soldiers may have been captured.

A senior US military official said up to 10 American soldiers are unaccounted for.

General Richard Myers, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the video was propaganda which violated the Geneva Convention for the treatment of prisoners of war.

"This is one more crime by the Iraqi regime," he added.

The soldiers are believed to be the first coalition soldiers captured by Iraq.

Private Joseph Person (Texas) said that he came to Iraq by the US command order. He refused to give the name of his commander. Private Seana (last name unknown, Texas) said that she came from the 508th repair battalion. Private Persie Millock said that he never shot or killed anyone. As he said, he came to Iraq by his command order. Private Andrew (last name illegible) is wounded.