The bodies of eight sailors killed during the terrorist bombing of the USS Cole have left the Yemeni port of Aden for the United States, a US military official said Thursday, as FBI director Louis Freeh prepared to visit the warship.
"Eight sailors left on a US military transport plane for the United States late last night," the official told AFP. They were to be repatriated to Dover, Delaware, where the US military has a "mortuary facility".
"The investigation is still ongoing for the remaining four bodies," the official said, stressing that US Navy divers had a "good idea where the remains of the missing sailors were located".
"We're not leaving here until they're found," he said, adding that Freeh was to visit the USS Cole later Thursday.
The October 12 blast on the billion-dollar guided-missile warship ripped a gaping 30-foot (nine meter) by 40 foot (12 meter) hole in the portside hull, also causing major internal damage.
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said Wednesday the two people responsible for the attack on the Cole were killed in the blast.
"The two people responsible for the attack were killed in the explosion, and one of them had a beard and wore glasses," the president told the Qatar-based Al-Jazira satellite television station.
He confirmed that it had been a bomb attack and added: "We have a photo of one of those responsible for the attack and according to his documents, he came from Hadramout (central Yemen) and was living in Lahj (southern Yemen)."
US Rear Admiral Mark Fitzgerald said in a statement at the airport in Aden that the sailors had given their lives in the service of their country, "striving to make this world a better and safer place.” – ADEN, Yemen (AFP)
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