900 Americans leave Bahrain during security review

Monday, July 12, 2004

ABU DHABI More than 900 Americans were leaving Bahrain following a U.S. military order for families of sailors and Defense Department staffers to evacuate the kingdom.

U.S. officials said the Americans began leaving the kingdom over the weekend in an effort to avoid an Al Qaida strike against Western targets in Bahrain. They said the Americans were being flown out of Manama to a U.S. naval base in Virginia.

The number of dependents of U.S. military personnel in Bahrain was reported at 930, Middle East Newsline reported.

The officials said the dependents would remain outside of Bahrain for at least 30 days during which the security situation would be reviewed.

The exodus began on July 9 when dozens of family members left Manama for the U.S. Navy station in Norfolk, Va. Officials said the process would continue into August.

"We have begun the relocation of our family members," U.S. Fifth Fleet spokesman Cmdr. James Graybeal said. "We expect the process to take a few weeks to complete."

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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