Iraq shows off 'Apache crew'
Pictures of two more alleged US prisoners of war have been broadcast on
Iraq said the two men were the crew of an Apache attack helicopter downed near
Karbala, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) south-west of Baghdad.
The US confirmed that one of its Apaches and its two pilots were missing after an attack near Karbala involving 30 or 40 helicopter gunships.
The broadcast came the day after five other US prisoners of war were shown being
questioned by Iraqi television in an episode described as "disgusting" by US officials.
The two alleged pilots were not asked questions on camera and were shown sitting, apparently in good health.
Pictures of what were said to be their identification papers were also shown.
Iraqi television also broadcast footage of the state-of-the-art helicopter, which looked virtually intact, in a field.
The Apache appeared undamaged
A correspondent for the US television network CNN, who was travelling with the US Army Fifth Corps 11th Attack Helicopter Regiment, said the helicopters had been attacking Republican Guard units close to Baghdad in a night-time operation.
He quoted one of the pilots as saying the regiment had hit a "hornet's nest, a barrage of anti-aircraft fire".
The correspondent added that most of the armoured helicopters had been hit by
bullets and he said that the crews had arrived back "feeling surprised, dazed, stunned somewhat".
Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf said two Apaches had been
shot down by a "small number of... brave peasants".
General Franks rejected the claim that a second helicopter had been captured.