Private Jessica 'raped by captors': reports

Rescued American soldier Private Jessica Lynch reveals in her new book that she was raped by her Iraqi captors, it was reported today.

Rescued American soldier Private Jessica Lynch reveals in her new book that she was raped by her Iraqi captors, it was reported today.

Lynch, who was captured after an ambush near Nasiriyah, cannot remember anything about the rape, which was revealed by medical tests.

The shocking revelation comes in her authorised biography I Am a Soldier Too, according to the New York Daily News, which said it had seen the book.

The story of Private Lynch, 20, captivated the US when she was sprung from an Iraqi hospital on April 1.

She had been seriously injured when her vehicle, part of a supply convoy, crashed during an ambush by Iraqi fighters.

“Jessi lost three hours. She lost them in the snapping bones, in the crash of the Humvee, in the torment her enemies inflicted on her after she was pulled from it,” writes author Rick Bragg.

“The records do not tell whether her captors assaulted her almost lifeless, broken body after she was lifted from the wreckage, or if they assaulted her and then broke her bones into splinters until she was almost dead.”

Lynch said she knew what might happen to her if she were caught.

“Everyone knew what Saddam’s soldiers did to women captives,” Bragg wrote.

“In (Lynch’s) worst nightmares, she stood alone in that desert as the trucks of her own army pulled away.”

The 207-page book, due out in America next Tuesday, was written by former New York Times reporter Bragg, who resigned from the newspaper after a scandal in which he admitting hiring someone else to do some of his reporting.

Blonde-haired Lynch, from West Virginia, told him she was not engaged in a fierce gun battle with Iraqis, as US defence officials originally claimed.

She said her M-16 machine gun jammed, adding: “I didn’t kill nobody.”

She also denied claims by Iraqi lawyer Mohammed Odeh Al Rehaief – credited with leading US troops to her rescue – that she was beaten by a Fedayeen soldier as she lay in her hospital bed.

“Unless they hit me while I was asleep – and why do that?” she said.

Her only comfort in hospital, where painkillers were scarce, was a nurse who would sing to her.

“It was a pretty song. And I would sleep,” she said.

She also told how Iraqi doctors tried to take her to safety in an ambulance but turned back when they were fired on by American troops.

The book recounts Private Lynch’s recovery from her injuries, which left her almost unable to walk or use her right hand.

She refuses to be called a hero, saying: “I’m just a survivor. When I think about it, it keeps me awake at night.”

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