U.S. Ship in Yemen Port Rammed by ROBERT BURNS AP Military Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A U.S. Navy ship in port on the Arabian Peninsula was struck Thursday by a small boat on what U.S. officials described as a suicide mission, killing at least four Americans and injuring at least 30, the Defense Department said.
The registry of the boat was not immediately known, and no one has claimed responsibility, U.S. officials said.
The destroyer USS Cole, with a crew of about 350 sailors, was in port at Aden, Yemen, when it was rammed and an explosion followed, according to Lt. Cmdr. Daren Pelkie, spokesman for the Navy's 5th Fleet headquarters in Manama, Bahrain. The Cole had just arrived in Aden for a scheduled four-hour refueling stop.
At about 12:15 p.m. local time, or 5:15 a.m. EDT, a U.S. Army major who works at the U.S. Embassy in Aden saw a small patrol boat of unknown nationality ram the destroyer, tearing a 20-foot-by-40-foot hole in the port side, Pelkie said.
The spokesman said that in addition to four Americans killed, five were seriously injured and a total of 31 suffered some form of injury. He said one American also was missing.
Flooding aboard the Cole was contained and no fires were reported, the spokesman said.
The Cole is a ship of the Aegis class and its home port is Norfolk, Va. It was en route to the Persian Gulf.
Yemen is on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula on the Red Sea.