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The BBC's Tom Carver in Washington
"The USS Cole was the first lethal terrorist attack on an American vessel in modern history"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 18 October, 2000, 17:16 GMT 18:16 UK
Clinton pledges to hunt Yemen bombers
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Mourners gather at the US Atlantic Fleet HQ
President Clinton has told a memorial service for the 17 American sailors killed in last Thursday's bomb attack on a US warship that justice will be done.


Today we honour our finest young people

Bill Clinton
He told the ceremony in Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters of the US Atlantic Fleet: "To those who attacked them we say: 'You will not find a safe harbour. We will find you, and justice will prevail.'

"America will not stop standing guard for peace, or freedom or stability in the Middle East and around the world."

Mr Clinton spoke of his grief at the loss of the sailors killed when a rubber boat laden with explosives rammed the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden.

Yemen map
He said: "Today we honour our finest young people, fallen soldiers that rose to freedom's challenge.

"We mourn their loss and celebrate their lives and offer the love and prayers of a grateful nation to their families."

Meanwhile, US divers in Yemen continued their efforts to retrieve the remains of the last six sailors at the site of the explosion.

Injured attend

Eight of the 39 sailors injured in the blast, who insisted on attending the memorial service, were brought out of hospital for the occasion.

Thirty-three sailors from the USS Cole returned to Norfolk on Sunday to a hero's welcome.

A US military spokesman said on Wednesday that Washington and Yemen had made progress in their investigation into the attack, though he would not give details.

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Investigations into the attack are continuing
Yemeni investigators discovered bomb-making equipment on Monday in a house near Aden.

Two men thought to be linked to the bombing spent several days in the house.

The USS Cole was being moored for refuelling when the rubber boat blew up alongside it.

Eyewitnesses said two men were seen standing up in the small boat before the blast.

Two previously unknown Muslim groups have said they were behind the attack, but officials have not yet confirmed whether they were involved.

It was the deadliest attack on the US military since the 1996 bombing of a US Air Force barracks in Saudi Arabia that killed 19.

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See also:

16 Oct 00 | Middle East
Yemen 'admits' US blast was deliberate
15 Oct 00 | Middle East
Bodies of US sailors flown home
13 Oct 00 | Middle East
Attractive base for anti-West Islamists
13 Oct 00 | Middle East
Explosion hits UK Yemen embassy
19 Jul 00 | Country profiles
Country profile: Yemen
13 Oct 00 | Africa
US closes African embassies
14 Jan 99 | From Our Own Correspondent
Yemen: Arabia's 'Wild West'
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