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U.S. says suspected USS Cole bombing planner killed in Yemen strike

FILE PHOTO: The port side damage to the guided missile destroyer USS Cole is pictured after a bomb attack during a refueling operation in the port of Aden in this October 12, 2000 file photo. REUTERS/Aladin Abdel Naby/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military said on Sunday it has killed a militant in Yemen believed to be one of the planners of a deadly bombing of the Navy destroyer USS Cole in 2000.

Jamal al-Badawi was killed in a precision strike in Yemen’s Marib governate on Jan. 1, U.S. Central Command said on Twitter two days after saying U.S. forces had targeted Badawi in the strike.

Badawi was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2003 and was wanted for his role in the USS Cole attack. He escaped from prison in Yemen twice, once in 2003 and again in 2006.

There was a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest.

On Oct. 12, 2000, two men in a small boat detonated explosives alongside the Navy guided missile destroyer as it was refueling in Aden, killing 17 sailors, wounding more than three dozen others and blasting a gaping hole in its hull.

President Donald Trump tweeted that the “Our GREAT MILITARY has delivered justice for the heroes lost and wounded in the cowardly attack on the USS Cole.”

Reporting by Mary Milliken; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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