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Grenade Attack Wounds Members of 101st Airborne in Kuwait

BY Admin  March 22, 2003 at 11:25 PM EST

U.S. Central Command said in a press statement, ”A suspect was taken into custody following the attack on elements of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). The suspect is a soldier assigned to the Division.”

U.S. Army V Corps spokesman Max Blumenfeld told the Associated Press the attack occurred in the command center tent of the 101st Division’s 1st Brigade at Camp Pennsylvania, near the Iraqi border. A 24-hour tactical operations center, the tent would always be staffed by officers and senior enlisted personnel, Blumenfeld said.

Blumenfeld told the AP the motive in the incident “most likely was resentment,” but did not elaborate. Blumenfeld said the suspect has not been charged.

According to Blumenfeld, investigators do not know if others were involved in the attack. Earlier, George Heath, a civilian spokesman at Ft. Campbell, Ky. where the 101st Airborne is based, said two Middle Eastern men hired by the camp as contractors had also been detained.

The Central Command said two of the 13 wounded were treated at the scene and released, while the others were flown to Army hospitals. Their names were not released.

Financial Times correspondent Charles Clover, who is assigned to cover the 101st Airborne, said that explosions erupted in three command tents, followed by small arms fire and “a lot of confusion after that.”

According to Clover, two of the wounded soldiers had been shot, while the others suffered “fragmentation wounds.”

Jim Lacey, a correspondent for Time Magazine based in Kuwait, said he was about 20 yards from the tents when the explosions took place.

“The people who did it ran off into the darkness,” he said.

The 101st is a rapid deployment division trained to be deployed anywhere in the world within 36 hours. The division’s 22,000 members were deployed to Kuwait Feb. 6.