|SLUG: 2-268019 Yemen Blast (S-O)||DATE:||NOTE NUMBER:|
TITLE=YEMEN BLAST (S-O)
INTRO: Yemen's president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, says the explosion that damaged a U-S warship last week was a planned criminal act. Seventeen U-S sailors were killed in the terrorist attack, more than 30 others injured. Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports from London.
TEXT: When the explosion ripped through the U-S-S Cole last Thursday, President Saleh suggested it could have been an accident. Now, after talks with the head of the U-S Central Command, Mr. Saleh says it was a planned criminal act. He condemns what he terms a shameful act aimed at harming bilateral relations.
On Sunday, U-S Ambassador to Yemen Barbara Bodine told reporters in Aden the port had been considered safe for U-S warships.
/// BODINE ACT ///
If we had had specific and credible information to the contrary, the ship would not have come in.
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More than 100 U-S investigators are trying to find out who is responsible for the attack. U-S officials suspect supporters of the Saudi-born Islamic radical Osama Bin Laden.
One day after the explosion, another blast rocked the British embassy in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. (SIGNED)