NYTimes.com Article: U.S. Warship Hit by 'Suicide Bombers' Off Yemen

jpino at SPAMkent.edu jpino at SPAMkent.edu
Thu Oct 12 15:08:46 MDT 2000


This article from NYTimes.com
has been sent to you by Julio C Pino jpino at phoenix.kent.edu.

Marxism List

This is what the Tamils call a "Black Sea Tiger" operation.
When one US helicopter was shot down in Somalia and 18 US Army Rangers picked apart by
the masses, Clinton withdrew like a bat out of hell.Bismillah, it happens again
Julio Cesar

Julio C Pino
jpino at phoenix.kent.edu

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U.S. Warship Hit by 'Suicide Bombers' Off Yemen
http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/world/international-yemen-s.html

October 12, 2000

By REUTERS



Filed at 4:14 p.m. ET

DUBAI (Reuters) - Suspected suicide bombers blasted a hole in a
U.S. Navy destroyer in a Yemeni port on Thursday, killing five
American sailors and leaving 12 missing.

U.S. Navy officials said 36 were injured, five seriously, when an
explosives-laden boat blew up near the USS Cole, one of the world's
most advanced guided missile destroyers.

The vessel, which had been on a refuelling stop in Yemen's southern
port Aden, was left listing and with a 20-by-40 foot gash along its
waterline.

``If, as it now appears, this was an act of terrorism it was a
despicable and cowardly act. We will find out who was responsible
and hold them accountable,'' President Clinton said.

``If their intention was to deter us from our mission of promoting
peace and security in the Middle East, they will fail utterly.''

The attack came amid mounting anti-U.S. sentiment in much of the
Arab world, including Yemen, over Washington's perceived support
for Israel during two weeks of fierce Israeli-Palestinian violence.

U.S. officials said reports from the scene indicated that two men
aboard a small boat that had been assisting the Cole with mooring
lines in the Aden harbour had stood to attention just before the
blast destroyed their boat and holed the ship.

SAD DAY FOR AMERICA

The officials earlier put the death toll at four, but Defense
Secretary William Cohen said five sailors had died in the blast,
which he described as an ``act of terrorists.''

``This is a sad day for America, for the Navy and for the families
of the lost and wounded sailors,'' Cohen said.

In Washington, Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Vern Clark showed
pictures of the damaged vessel, which has a huge gash in its left
side.

``What I know about the ship and the events that have been
described to me, I have no reason to think that this was anything
but a senseless act of terrorism,'' Clark said.

Attorney General Janet Reno said the U.S. Federal Bureau of
Investigation was sending experts to Aden to help the Defense
Department and other agencies investigate the blast.

Lieutenant-Commander Daren Pelkie, a spokesman for the
Bahrain-based U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, told Reuters that two planes
carrying medical teams left Bahrain for Aden and a third was due
later on Thursday.

Asked if the missing sailors were at sea, Pelkie said, ''They are
on the ship. The crew are involved in the search and rescue
operations.'' He did not elaborate.

BLAST RATTLES ADEN LIKE A QUAKE

The blast was so powerful that it
blew windows out of buildings and sent terrified Aden residents
fleeing into the streets.

``Buildings shook as if the city had been hit by an earthquake,''
one witness told Reuters.

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said the United States would
not be cowed by the attack, vowing that Washington would take all
measures to protect its people. ``It does not mean we can crawl
into an ostrich-like mode. We are eagles.''

The attack on the warship came on the same day that Israeli
helicopter gunships blasted Palestinian targets in the West Bank
and Gaza Strip with missiles to avenge the killing of two Israeli
soldiers by a lynch mob.

The last major attack on U.S. targets was in August 1998 when twin
bombs at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killed more than
250 people.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh offered his condolences to
Clinton and the ``friendly American people'' but said he believed
the explosion was not caused by a deliberate act.

Yemeni television showed Saleh visiting the wounded sailors at a
local hospital and said he spoke by telephone to Albright to assure
her that Sanaa was investigating the blast.

Witnesses in Aden said the ship's crew surrounded the vessel and
would not even allow Yemeni officials into the destroyer.

The Arleigh Burke Class destroyer Cole is one of the world's most
sophisticated warships.

The 505-foot-long Cole is equipped with an advanced Aegis radar
defense and with missiles and guns to protect itself and aircraft
carrier battle groups against simultaneous attack by planes,
missiles and ships.

Lieutenant Terrence Dudley from the Fifth Fleet said: ``USS Cole
has been stabilized and the flooding has been contained. Luckily
there have been no fires.''

The New York Times on the Web
http://www.nytimes.com

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