CBSN

9 Bodies Found With POW Are U.S.

In this image from video released Wednesday, April 2, 2003 during a U.S. Centeral Command news conference in Doha, Qatar, Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks briefs the media on the rescue of POW Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, shown on the video screen,left, as she is rescued by U.S. special forces Tuesday night, April 1, 2003.
AP/APTN
Rescued American POW Jessica Lynch is undergoing surgery today at a German hospital.

The 19-year-old Army private has two broken legs, a broken arm and a fractured disc. Lynch is expected to be flown to the United States as soon as she's stabilized after surgery.

The U.S. forces who rescued Lynch from a hospital also found 11 corpses in a nearby shallow grave. CBS News Correspondent David Martin reports nine of those are believed to be American. Those nine have been shipped back to the U.S. for identification.

The Washington Post reports Lynch shot several Iraqi soldiers during the ambush.

"She was fighting to the death," the Washington Post quoted an official as saying. "She did not want to be taken alive."

"Talk about spunk!" said Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., who was briefed by military officials on the rescue.

"She's a fighter. She doesn't give up," her mother Deadra told CBS News.

Pentagon officials declined comment on the report.

Lynch's daring nighttime rescue used virtually every asset the U.S. had, reports CBS News Correspondent Lee Cowan, from a battalion of Marines who drew fire as a decoy to U.S. Special Forces, who ran through a hail of gunfire for a stranger — not once, but twice.

"There were fire fights outside of the building, getting in and getting out," said Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks at Central Command in Doha.

In addition, the Iraqi doctor who guided U.S. forces to Lynch during the rescue operation volunteered to stay with the U.S. forces and was brought out along with Lynch.

The former POW left Iraq on a stretcher with an American flag folded across her chest, and arrived at a U.S. air base in Germany late Wednesday for treatment at the U.S. military's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. She was the only patient aboard the 10-hour flight, reports CBS News Correspondent Stephan Kaufman at Landstuhl.

From Germany, she spoke with her family at their home in Palestine, W.Va., in a 15-minute telephone call.

"She was weak yesterday, but sounded really spirited," her mother told CBS News Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm. "And then again this morning, she sounds really good.

"We have heard and seen reports that she had multiple gunshot wounds and a knife stabbing. The doctor has not seen any of this," Gregory Lynch Sr. said. "There's no entry (wounds) whatsoever."

Lynch said his daughter had surgery on her back.

"She didn't have any feeling in her feet," he said outside his home in this West Virginia hamlet. More surgery was scheduled for Friday on her fractured legs and right arm, he said.

"She's weak, she knows she's injured and they're doing the best that they can to get her so she can travel," said her brother Greg Lynch Jr. Her father said she will be transferred to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington as soon as possible.

However, it may be some time before she is reunited with her family, since soldiers taken prisoner often need time to "decompress" and meet with medical and psychological experts.

Lynch and as many as 12 other members of the 507th Maintenance Company were captured after making a wrong turn in Nasariyah. She watched several soldiers in her unit die in the ambush, the Post reported.

Not long after the fighting, five of Lynch's fellow soldiers showed up in Iraqi television footage being asked questions by their captors. The video also showed bodies, apparently of U.S. soldiers, leading the Pentagon to accuse Iraq of executing some POWs.

Lynch joined the Army after graduating from high school in 2001. Her brother Greg enlisted the same day. Her 18-year-old sister Brandi will report for duty in August.

"I still want to do it even more. It's the Lynch blood," Brandi Lynch said.

To help Lynch reach her goal of becoming a kindergarten teacher, West Virginia and Marshall universities and Liberty College in Lynchburg, Va., offered her competing packages Wednesday.

And West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise said the state would finance Lynch's education at a state public college or university of her choosing.

"She wants to become a teacher, and we are going to see that she becomes one," he said after visiting the Lynch family at home.