US Confirms Soldiers Held by Serbs
Apr. 01, 1999
BONN, Germany (AP) _ A U.S. military spokesman in Germany confirmed Thursday that three American soldiers have been captured by Yugoslav forces.
Capt. John Clearwater, spokesman for the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division, said the soldiers' identities were being withheld pending notification of family members, who were in the United States.
``The great news is the fact that these soldiers are alive and well and appear to be healthy,'' Clearwater told The Associated Press by telephone from the unit's base at Wuerzburg, Germany.
``That has been the greatest relief to the families and the other soldiers at the base.''
The three soldiers are serving in a U.N. mission in Macedonia monitoring the border with Yugoslavia, Clearwater said. He said he had no information on the circumstances of their capture.
Serbian television showed pictures Thursday of men it said were the three U.S. soldiers who disappeared near the Yugoslav-Macedonia border.
The three U.S. soldiers were captured Wednesday in Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav army Pristina corps claimed in an announcement carried by the state-run Tanjug news agency Thursday. NATO has said the three were in Macedonia, not Yugoslavia, about 3 miles from the Yugoslavia border, when they reported being surrounded.
While being apprehended, the three resisted arrest, the Yugoslav army said.
The Serb television pictures showed the three men, wearing camouflage uniforms, with what appeared to be dirt or abrasions on their faces. They were speaking to someone off camera, and subtitles were shown with what the Serb TV said were their names.
The report apparently aired from Pristina, implying the allegedly captured soldiers were being held in the Kosovo province's capital.