PDA

View Full Version : U.S. Marine Killed in Kuwait



Sparrowhawk
10-08-02, 12:38 PM
U.S. Marine Dies in Kuwait Exercise

By DIANA ELIAS
Associated Press Writer
AP/ [33K]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



KUWAIT (AP) Gunmen riding in a pickup truck attacked U.S. Marines during war games in Kuwait Tuesday. One Marine was killed and a second was wounded. The two attackers were shot dead by U.S. forces.


The Marines were conducting live-fire urban assault training when they were attacked, apparently by civilians, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Lapan said.

The assailants got to the area in a pickup truck, which was impounded, Lapan said. The two were killed after opening fire on the marines, said Pentagon spokesman Navy Lt. Dan Hetlage.

There were conflicting earlier reports about whether the assailants were killed, or wounded and arrested.

Lapan said one Marine died during surgery at the Camp Doha Armed Forces Hospital. The wounded Marine's condition was not immediately known.

Their names were withheld until relatives were told of the attack.

Kuwaiti forces taking part in the war games were not involved the exercises where the attack occurred.

Another U.S. defense official in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the assailants apparently shot the two Marines at one site, drove to another location and started firing on other Marines. There, the official said, they apparently were hit by return fire.

The island was abandoned by its inhabitants when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. After a U.S.-led coalition liberated Kuwait in the 1991 Gulf war, the government compensated island residents for their property and they resettled on the mainland. The island since has been cleared of mines and many Kuwaitis go there on weekends to fish. Some of its former inhabitants also visit occasionally.

More than 1,000 U.S. Marines and Navy sailors are taking part in the exercise, dubbed Eager Mace 2002, with the Kuwaiti military. Washington has said the games are routine and not related to any possible war to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Kuwait has said it opposed any unilateral military action against Iraq. However, it has said it will allow U.S. forces to use its land for an attack if the war is sanctioned by the United Nations.

The two-week war games began Oct. 1 after the amphibious transport ships USS Mount Vernon and the USS Denver arrived in Kuwaiti waters and started unloading 1,000 Marines and their equipment. The men and women are from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit based in Camp Pendleton, California. The vessels' 900 sailors were also participating in the maneuvers.

American and Kuwaiti forces have been training together since the end of the U.S.-led Gulf War that liberated the small oil-rich state from a seven-month Iraqi occupation. A Kuwaiti-U.S. defense pact signed after the war calls for yearlong exercises.

Camp Doha, an isolated U.S. Army base along the Gulf coast about 12 miles west of Kuwait City, contains pre-positioned equipment for a brigade including M-1 A-1 Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles and artillery. Typically, a battalion force is deployed at Camp Doha, including soldiers based there and troops who come through regularly for training.

The U.S. Air Force uses two Kuwaiti bases, Ali Salem air base about43 miles northwest of Kuwait City, and Ahmed Al Jaber air base, 47 miles west of the capital.

thedrifter
10-08-02, 04:37 PM
By DIANA ELIAS, Associated Press Writer

KUWAIT (AP) - Two Kuwaiti gunmen in a pickup truck attacked U.S. forces during war games Tuesday on an island in the Persian Gulf, killing one Marine and wounding another before they were shot to death by U.S. troops. Kuwait called the assault a "terrorist act."

The Pentagon (news - web sites) said the assailants pulled up to a group of Marines conducting urban assault training on Failaka, an uninhabited island off Kuwait's coast, and opened fire with small arms. They then drove to another site, stopped and attacked again before being killed by Marines, the Pentagon said.

Marines later found three AK-47s and ammunition inside the vehicle, according to a statement released in Washington by the Bahrain-based U.S. Fifth Fleet. It said the injured Marine was hit in the arm.

In a brief statement, the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry condemned the attack and identified the assailants as Anas al-Kandari, born in 1981, and Jassem al-Hajiri, born in 1976. It said both were Kuwaiti civilians.

An Interior Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, described the two men as fundamentalist Muslims. More than 30 of their friends and relatives were detained for questioning, he said.

"The ministry announces that this is a terrorist act," the Interior Ministry said in a statement. "It will not allow anyone to undermine the country's security."

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Daniel Hetlage said the Marines returned to their ships shortly after the attack, but would resume exercises on the island Wednesday.

Failaka Island, about 10 miles east of Kuwait City, was abandoned by its inhabitants when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, and Iraqi forces heavily mined it during their occupation.

After a U.S.-led coalition liberated Kuwait in the 1991 Persian Gulf War (news - web sites), the government compensated islanders for their property and resettled them on the mainland. The island has since been cleared of mines and many Kuwaitis fish there on weekends. Some former residents visit occasionally.

The shooting attack was unprecedented in Kuwait, a Washington ally since the Gulf War. More than a decade later, most Kuwaitis remain supportive of the close relationship.

Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said the two Marines were taken to the Armed Forces Hospital in Kuwait City, where one of them died of his wounds. Their names were withheld until relatives were contacted.

The military exercise, dubbed Eager Mace 2002, involves Kuwaitis at some stages. However, the Pentagon said the attack happened during an exercise that only involved U.S. forces.

The war games started Oct. 1, after the amphibious transport ships USS Denver and USS Mount Vernon arrived in Kuwaiti waters and began unloading 1,000 Marines and their equipment. The men and women are from the 11th Marine Expeditionary unit based in Camp Pendleton, Calif. The vessels' 900 sailors were also taking part in the maneuvers.

The U.S. military has carried out exercises in Kuwait since the Gulf War as part of a defense agreement the small oil-rich state signed with Washington. The Pentagon has said the current war games were routine and not related to any possible war to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (news - web sites).

Kuwait opposes any unilateral action against Iraq and fears retaliation with non-conventional weapons if the United States attacks Baghdad. However, it has said the United States could use its land for an attack if the war is sanctioned by the United Nations (news - web sites).

Muslim fundamentalists are politically strong in Kuwait. They want Saddam removed from power, but many believe President Bush (news - web sites)'s real motives for waging war would be to revive the foundering U.S. economy and to weaken Arabs out of support for Israel.

Scores of Kuwaitis have fought alongside Muslims in Afghanistan (news - web sites), Chechnya (news - web sites) and Bosnia, but they have not attacked Americans in Kuwait even at the height of the U.S. war that toppled Afghanistan's Taliban regime. The Taliban harbored Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)'s al-Qaida organization, which is blamed for last year's Sept. 11 attacks in the United States.

When a Canadian man was shot and killed while walking in the street just after the war in Afghanistan started, it was thought to be in retaliation against foreigners. A Kuwaiti religious extremist was apprehended and later freed.

Eventually, a group of Filipinos, including the victim's wife, was arrested and tried for murdering the man for his life insurance. One Filipino was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

"I just hope it is not Islamists," former oil minister and lawmaker Ali al-Baghli said of Tuesday's attack.

The U.S. Army prepositions weapons at Camp Doha, a base along the Gulf coast about 12 miles west of Kuwait City. The U.S. Air Force uses two Kuwaiti bases to patrol the southern no-fly zone over Iraq, which was set up after the war to protect Iraqi Shiites who rose up against Saddam.

Editors: AP correspondent Pauline Jelinek contributed to this report from Washington.

http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20021008/capt.1034092303.kuwait_us_shooting_nyet203.jpg

Sempers,

Roger

thedrifter
10-09-02, 09:27 AM
NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense

No. 512-02
(703)697-5131(media)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 9, 2002
(703)428-0711(public/industry)

DOD IDENTIFIES MARINE KILLED IN KUWAIT

The Department of Defense identified the Marine killed
in Kuwait yesterday as Lance Cpl. Antonio J. Sledd, 20, of
Hillsborough, Fla. He died from wounds received in action while
participating in an urban exercise as part of Exercise Eager
Mace.

Sledd was assigned to Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st
Marines, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Camp Pendleton, Calif.


Prayers and Thoughts goes out to the family......

Sempers,

Roger

thedrifter
10-09-02, 11:58 AM
Wed Oct 9,10:56 AM ET
By DIANA ELIAS, Associated Press Writer

KUWAIT (AP) - U.S. officials said Wednesday they were investigating whether al-Qaida had any links to two gunmen who killed a U.S. Marine and wounded a second before they were shot dead by American troops. Kuwaiti officials detained more than 30 people in a search for the attackers' accomplices

friend of both attackers and the brother of one told The Associated Press the pair were cousins who had been to Afghanistan (news - web sites), a training ground for Muslim militants, and carried out the attack to avenge the killing of Palestinians by Israelis. The friend said one had "chosen to walk in the footsteps of Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)."

"It is a concern about whether or not there are connections between those who shot the Marines and al-Qaida, and we do not rule that out," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer (news - web sites) said.

Another U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the attackers' links to al-Qaida were being investigated.

The two gunmen drove up in a pickup truck Tuesday and opened fire on Marines engaged in urban assault training on Failaka, an island 10 miles east of Kuwait City. The attackers then drove to a second location and attacked again before being killed by Marines, the Pentagon (news - web sites) said.

The Kuwaiti Interior Ministry condemned the attack and identified the assailants as Anas al-Kandari, born in 1981, and Jassem al-Hajiri, born in 1976. It said both were Kuwaiti civilians.

"This is a terrorist act," the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry said. "(We) will not allow anyone to undermine the country's security."

Mohammed al-Awadi, a Muslim cleric, told AP on Wednesday he was a friend of the attackers.

"Anas (al-Kandari) was in Afghanistan for a year and a half and he had chosen to walk in the footsteps of Osama bin Laden," al-Awadi said in a telephone interview.

Al-Hajiri was in Afghanistan for six months with his cousin, said the cleric. Both returned days before last year's Sept. 11 attacks.

Al-Kandari was very moved by footage of Palestinians killed in the violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories days before the attack, the cleric said. An Israeli raid Monday in the Gaza town of Khan Younis that left 15 Palestinians dead and more than 100 wounded has been heavily covered by Arab television stations.

"Every Muslim believes Americans are helping Jews, and he was burning to do something to help," Al-Kandari's brother, Abdullah, told AP in a telephone interview.

Abdullah al-Kandari said he had known nothing of his brother's plans. Afterward, relatives found a will in his desk in which he asked that his body not be washed before burial. The Muslim corpses traditionally are washed, but some believe it is an honor for those considered martyrs to be buried stained with the blood they spilled for their cause.

Khaled al-Oda, who heads a non-governmental group campaigning for the release of 12 Kuwaitis among those held by U.S. forces in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, said one member of al-Kandari's clan was among the detainees, but not a close relative.

Sheik Mohammed Al Sabah, Kuwait's foreign minister, refused to comment Wednesday on newspaper reports and claims by the friend and brother that linked the two suspects to bin Laden's al-Qaida network or that they had militant training in Afghanistan.

Several Kuwaitis have been tied to bin Laden, whose group is blamed for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks most notably, al-Qaida spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who was stripped of his Kuwaiti citizenship in October 2001, and Kuwaiti-born Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who is suspected of being a Sept. 11 mastermind.

Meanwhile, Kuwaiti authorities were taking "steps to round up those who we think provided assistance to the terrorists," Sheik Mohammed told reporters. Police said more than 30 people had been detained.

Sheik Mohammed added that military exercises resumed Wednesday, although it was unclear whether U.S. forces had returned to the island.

After the shooting, Marines found three AK-47s and ammunition inside the attackers' truck, the U.S. Navy (news - web sites) Fifth Fleet reported in a statement.

The injured Marine "was recovering from non-life threatening injuries," Lt. Garrett Kasper, spokesman for Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain, said Wednesday.

Kasper would not provide the Marine's name or details about his wounds, although earlier the Fifth Fleet said he had been hit in the arm. A Kuwaiti Defense Ministry source, however, said Wednesday that the Marine was injured in the stomach and would be flown to Germany for further treatment, along with the body of his colleague.

On its Web site, the U.S. Embassy urged Americans in Kuwait to be vigilant.

Kuwait has been a Washington ally since the Gulf War (news - web sites). More than a decade later, most Kuwaitis support the close relationship.

Failaka Island was abandoned by its inhabitants when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, and Iraqi forces heavily mined it during their occupation.

After a U.S.-led coalition liberated Kuwait in the 1991 Gulf War, Kuwait compensated islanders for their property and resettled them on the mainland. The island has since been cleared of mines and many Kuwaitis fish there on weekends.

The military exercises, dubbed Eager Mace 2002, involve some Kuwaitis, but the Pentagon said Tuesday's attack occurred during an exercise for U.S. forces alone.

The war games started Oct. 1, after the amphibious transport ships USS Denver and USS Mount Vernon arrived in Kuwaiti waters and began unloading 1,000 Marines and their equipment. The men and women are from the 11th Marine Expeditionary unit based in Camp Pendleton, Calif. The vessels' 900 sailors were also taking part in the maneuvers.

The U.S. military has carried out exercises in Kuwait since the Gulf War as part of a defense agreement the small oil-rich state signed with Washington. The Pentagon says the current war games are routine and not related to any possible war to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (news - web sites).

Kuwait opposes any unilateral action against Iraq and fears retaliation with non-conventional weapons if the United States attacks Baghdad. However, it has said the United States could use its land for an attack if the war is sanctioned by the United Nations (news - web sites).

Sempers,

Roger