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Yemen president: Boat used in Cole attack bought in Saudi Arabia

The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Cole is towed from the port city of Aden, Yemen, into open seas on October 29  

SANAA, Yemen (CNN) -- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh told reporters on Friday that the small boat used in last month's deadly attack on the destroyer USS Cole was purchased in Saudi Arabia. He gave no details.

Two suicide bombers are believed to have sailed the boat filled with explosives to the side of the destroyer and detonated it on October 12, killing 17 U.S. sailors and injuring dozens more.

On Wednesday, Yemeni Prime Minister Abdel Karim al-Iriyani told CNN that one of the bombers had been identified as a Saudi citizen with Yemeni family ties who fought Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s. He said both suicide bombers were from Yemeni families from the province of Hadhramaut, which borders Saudi Arabia.

  MESSAGE BOARD
 

The province is also the home of the family of fugitive Saudi Osama bin Laden, an accused terrorist suspected by U.S. officials to have ordered the bombing of the Cole. Officials admit, however, they have no proof of a bin Laden connection to the bombing.

CNN Correspondents Walter Rodgers and David Ensor contributed to this report.



RELATED STORIES:
U.S. warships to resume use of Suez Canal for first time since attack on USS Cole
November 22, 2000
Remains of 1 Cole bomber found, U.S. officials say
November 17, 2000
Yemeni and U.S. officials differ on whether Cole investigation is almost over
November 16, 2000
Were Cole sentry guns loaded?
November 14, 2000
Clinton honors USS Cole victims on Veterans Day
November 11, 2000
Cole attack was terrorists' second try, U.S. officials say
November 9, 2000

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U.S. Navy

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