Forces advance toward Baghdad

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 24, 2003

Coalition forces continue to advance toward Baghdad, and were within 60 miles on Monday. The number of coalition troops in northern Iraq reached over 200 and is continuing to grow.

Their success, however, has been fraught with peril.

On Monday, Pentagon officials confirmed that two Apache helicopter pilots were taken prisoner after their helicopter came under anti-aircraft fire.

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Chief Warrant Officers David S. Williams of Florida and Ronald D. Young of Georgia were shown on Iraqi television.

Four other POWs have also been confirmed,

Washington officials are

The Pentagon criticized the Iraqi military for falsely surrendering in order to ambush coalition troops.

The Iraqi soldiers, dressed in civilian clothing, are flagging down troops under peaceful pretenses.

Also on Monday, five more waves of explosions began hitting Baghdad.

Bombings were also reported in Mosul, a city in northern Iraq, and Kirkuk, just south of Mosul, hitting more key targets.

A U.S. bomb intended for a bridge hit a Syrian bus with 37 Syrian civilians.

At press time, over a dozen troops were missing and coalition deaths total to more than 39.