US Vows to Leave No Stone Unturned in Destroyer Blast Probe
Dozens of US investigators will leave no stone unturned in the hunt for exactly who and what caused the huge blast that killed 17 sailors on a navy destroyer in Aden, a spokesman said Saturday, reported (AFP)
A 40-strong US Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) arrived in the southern Yemen port on Friday night to lead the investigation, said navy spokesman Lieutenant Terrence Dudley.
FEST is an inter-agency team grouping the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Defence and the State Department.
"They will conduct a thorough in-depth investigation," Dudley told reporters. "Nothing will be left untouched."
The investigators would remain in Yemen "for as long as it takes to come to a conclusive decision as to what incident happened," he said.
The FEST members followed some 50 US Marines, members of a fleet anti-terrorism unit, who were among the first to arrive to bolster security, despite a strong clampdown throughout Aden by Yemeni forces.
Naval experts from US Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain were also quick to arrive on the scene at the southwestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula.
In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon said more than 100 additional FBI agents were due to arrive over the next day or two, he said.
The Pentagon said 17 sailors were now presumed killed in the suspected suicide bombing that crippled the USS Cole on Thursday.
Dudley said a total of 30 wounded had now been transferred to US military hospitals in Germany and three remained in a French hospital in Djibouti. Another six navy personnel had been flown to Germany suffering post-trauma stress.
US officials still have few answers to how suspected terrorists were able to slip through security.
Cohen cautioned that the investigation would be "very complex" and possibly long.
The attackers took advantage of a scheduled four- to six-hour refueling stop in Aden, using a seemingly routine mooring operation by harbor craft as cover to get close enough to strike the billion-dollar ship, one of the most technologically advanced in the US navy – (AFP)
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