Troops Captured? Not These Two

Iraq, U.S. troops, battle casualty
A previously unknown group claimed to have captured two U.S. soldiers in an attack on a military convoy west of Baghdad, according to a statement broadcast Friday by the Lebanese Broadcasting Corp.

But the Pentagon said both soldiers are safely in American hands and never were missing.

The typewritten statement from a group calling itself Al-Madina al-Munawara Division was delivered to LBC along with two identification cards, the privately owned station said.

LBC broadcast close-ups of the cards — what appeared to be a business card in the name of Capt. Katherine V. Rose of the 142nd Corps Support Battalion from Fort Polk, La., and a Pennsylvania driver's license with the name Andrew C. Peters.

But it turns out Peters is being treated at Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas. He had lost his identification when he was injured by a land mine, military officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Rose also is safe in U.S. military hands, military officials said. Her 142nd Corps Support Battalion, based at Fort Polk, is currently deployed in Iraq.

Pentagon officials said the military was investigating the incident to determine how the previously unknown group got the cards.

The two cards and a typewritten statement from a group calling itself Al-Madina al-Munawara Division were left in an envelope outside the door of LBC's Baghdad office on Friday, said a news editor with the privately owned station in Beirut.

The statement said Al-Madina Al-Munawara Division is made up of members of the former Iraqi army under the regime of Saddam Hussein.

The statement said the two Americans were wounded and captured when an Al-Madina unit attacked their convoy west of Baghdad. It did not say when or exactly where the attack took place.

It warned British and Australian troops, as well as all other countries that may send troops to Iraq, that they will be subjected to more attacks.

Saddam's old Republican Guard, comprising some of Iraq's best-equipped and most-dedicated troops, included a unit called Al-Madina al-Munawara. Literally, the name means "City of Light" in Arabic. It's also the formal name of the city of Medina, the second holiest city after Mecca in Saudi Arabia.