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Cole Wounded Come Home, Memorial Service Planned

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2000 – Thirty-three sailors wounded in the terrorist attack on the destroyer USS Cole in Aden, Yemen, returned Oct. 15 to Norfolk, Va.

Six more sailors wounded in the attack are still in Germany and will return when their condition improves, Navy officials said.

The remains of five killed in the attack returned Oct. 14. Navy officials said 10 sailors remain missing and are presumed dead. They said they expect to recover the remains of all the dead by Oct. 19.

The Navy announced a memorial service Oct. 18 at the ships home port of Norfolk. President Clinton and Defense Secretary William S. Cohen are scheduled to attend.

In Aden, three U.S. Navy ships arrived to help. The frigate USS Hawes, the oiler USS Camden and another Arleigh Burke- class destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, are now at the harbor. The crews of the ships are providing watch relief, harbor security and food services, Navy officials said. The Camden is providing further logistical support. Officials said the USS Tarawa Amphibious Ready Group is en route from Bahrain and should be in Aden in two days.

In addition, two Marine Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Teams are on site. One group of 50 Marines arrived Oct. 13 from Qatar and the second group arrived Oct. 15 from the United States, Pentagon officials said.

The Burke-class Cole lost power over the weekend. The power outage allowed another compartment to flood.

When we lost power, we lost the ability to operate pumps, said Navy spokesperson Lt. Jane Alexander, adding the power is again working and flooding is controlled. The ship is not in danger of sinking.

The investigation into the terrorist attack continues. The FBI is working with Navy investigators and State Department officials to collect evidence.

No group has taken responsibility for the attack on the Cole, officials said.

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