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Grenade Attack on 101st Division in Kuwait Kills One

BY Admin  March 23, 2003 at 12:15 PM EST

The attack occurred at the rear base of Camp Pennsylvania, located near the Iraqi border, military officials said.

Initial reports said that a terrorist had infiltrated the camp and attacked the tent, but military spokesmen later said a soldier from the 101st Airborne was in custody and being questioned about the attack.

The attack apparently occurred as a part of the division was preparing to deploy into Iraq. Just after 1:00 a.m. local time (5:00 p.m. EST), grenade exploded inside the 1st Brigade’s “operations center,” a central command facility manned by staff officers.

10 soldiers were reportedly airlifted to military hospitals in Kuwait, while the others were treated at the scene for relatively minor injuries. One of the soldiers taken to a hospital later died of his injuries.

After the attack, a soldier from the brigade was reported missing along with four grenades from an ammunition supply, according to news reports. The missing soldier later turned up in a bunker after a missile alert sounded.

So many of the 1st Brigade’s staff officers were wounded that its command structure may need to be re-organized, reported the Washington Post.

Soldiers at Camp Pennsylvania were reportedly surprised to learn one of their own may be involved in the attack.

“I was really shocked when I found out that a service member was suspect in this,” Staff Sgt. Mark Swart told the New York Times. “I know the people who were in there, and they are really great guys — it’s amazing that anyone would strike at them.”

U.S. Army spokesman Max Blumenfeld said the motive for the attack “most likely was resentment.”