U.S. soldiers killed in hit-and-run in Kuwait

Monday, December 20, 2004

ABU DHABI Two U.S. soldiers were killed in what was suspected to have been an attack on the American military presence in Kuwait.

The U.S. military said the soldiers were killed in a "hit-and-run" accident on Sunday near their base. The military said another vehicle rammed into a jeep filled with the soldiers.

The military statement said the first soldier died on the spot, Middle East Newsline reported. The second died of injuries in a hospital in Kuwait City.

"A second U.S. soldier died as a result of injuries he suffered in a hit and run traffic accident shortly after arriving at a civilian hospital in Kuwait," the statement said. Two other soldiers were injured.

Hours later, Kuwaiti officials said an Egyptian national surrendered to authorities as the driver who crashed into the Americans. Kuwaiti authorities deemed the killing of the Americans a traffic accident and that the Egyptian said the crash was not deliberate.

The death of the Americans came four days after the U.S. embassy in Kuwait warned of Al Qaida-aligned attacks in the sheikdom. The embassy said it received credible reports of an imminent attack in Kuwait.

Officials said the military was investigating whether the crash was deliberate. But U.S. diplomatic sources said the circumstances of the episode appeared to rule out the prospect that the Egyptian driver lost control of his vehicle when he crashed into the parked military jeep.

Kuwait has about 12,000 American civilians and 25,000 U.S. soldiers.

U.S. soldiers came under attack from Al Qaida-aligned insurgents in 2002 and 2003.

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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