The USS Cole, crippled in the southern Yemeni city of Aden since the October 12 bombing that killed 17 US sailors and injured 38 others on board, could be moved by the end of the week, a senior US government official said Monday.
"The Cole will be moved by the end of the week, give or take a day or two, depending on when the Blue Marlin arrives and gets into position," the official told reporters, referring to a heavy-lift ship on its way to the port.
"The Cole is towable, pushable, movable, (but) not under its own steam," he said, adding that the US navy was assessing the "basic logistical issues of finding the right depth water" for the maneuver to be carried out.
The US government has signed a contract with the Norwegian company that owns Blue Marlin, currently in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, to transport the billion-dollar guided-missile warship back to the United States.
Meanwhile, the official reiterated that there were no new leads in the investigation into the blast that left a gaping 40 by 40 (12 by 12 meter) hole in the warship’s portside.
He warned that the joint Yemeni-US investigation was not underestimating the intelligence of the people who carried out the attack in Aden bay.
"It is fair to say that there were some brains behind it. We still don't know exactly how it was done," he said. "It was not an accident in any shape or form. This was not a spur-of-the-moment thing."
"We haven't ruled anybody in or ruled anybody out," he said, refusing to speculate on who had the capability to carry out such an attack.
"There is obviously going to be a process of elimination," he said, without elaborating -- ADEN (AFP)
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