- The Washington Times - Monday, March 24, 2003

WASHINGTON, March 24 (UPI) — Iraqi TV Monday showed images of an Apache Longbow helicopter on a field some 50 miles south of Baghdad.

Television images showed the helicopter upright in Karbala and surrounded by jubilant armed men in civilian clothing. Two helmets were also shown at the scene. There was no word of the fate of the crew.

The Iraqi TV report said the helicopter had been shot down.

At a news briefing in Baghdad, Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed al-Sahaf mentioned the television images and said pictures of the pilots may be broadcast, too.

"Maybe we will show pictures of Apache pilots," he said.

The claim comes a day after Arab television stations played images of what they said were captured U.S. troops. Iraqi TV showed images of five captured U.S. soldiers and at least four bodies.

Pentagon officials confirmed Sunday some U.S. soldiers were prisoner and were working to confirm their identities and notify their families.

President George W. Bush said he expected the prisoners "to be treated humanely."

Filming prisoners of war and disseminating the tape violate the Geneva Convention prohibition of ridicule of detained soldiers. They are supposed to be moved out of harm's way, receive medical treatment, shelter and food.

Al-Sahaf, however, denied his country was violating the accord.

"We are committed to the Geneva convention," he said Monday. "We abide by the convention."

The Apache, a twin-engine army attack helicopter, has seen action in the first Gulf War, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo.

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