USIS Washington 

07 August 1998


(NSC's Berger wakened President Clinton with the news) (900)

By Wendy S. Ross and Jane A. Morse

USIA White House and Diplomatic Correspondents

Washington -- President Clinton has ordered that US flags be flown at
half staff at all US government buildings at home and around the world
to remember those killed in explosions August 7 near the US Embassies
in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

In a statement in the Rose Garden mid-morning, Clinton said "these
acts of terrorist violence are as abhorrent as they are inhuman. We
will use all the means at our disposal to bring those responsible to
justice no matter what, or how long, it takes."

"To the families and loved ones of the American and African victims of
these cowardly attacks, you are in our thoughts and prayers," he said.

Bombs exploded "within minutes of each other" at 10:45 a.m. local
time, 3:45 a.m. Washington time, August 7 adjacent to US embassies in
Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam, White House Deputy Press Secretary for
Foreign Affairs, Colonel Philip J. Crowley had told reporters at the
White House earlier August 7.

The explosions caused "extensive damage both to the embassies and to
adjacent buildings," Crowley said at the early morning gaggle with the
White House Press Corps. "We believe that Americans have been killed
in Nairobi," he said, but "we are not aware that any Americans have
been killed in Dar-es- Salaam."

A State Department official told reporters on background mid-morning
that the American death count at the US Embassy in Nairobi stands at
seven: Three official American embassy employees and one American
dependent are confirmed dead; two official American employees are
"possibly dead" and one "presumed" dead.

The State Department official said there are no Americans reported
dead at the US Embassy in Dar-es-Salaam, although two Foreign Service
Nationals were killed along with three guards.

"We believe there are extensive injuries and deaths, particularly in
Nairobi among the local population," Crowley said. But he cautioned
the press that at this point "details are very sketchy" and said
"numbers will fluctuate during the course of the day."

Clinton was informed by phone by the National Security Advisor Sandy
Berger at roughly 5:30 a.m. Washington time this morning, Crowley
said. The President was "deeply troubled by the news and asked Sandy
several questions about the details that we knew at that time. The
National Security Advisor is updating the President as we speak,"
Crowley said.

The State Department is coordinating the inter-agency response to the
situation in Africa, the White House spokesman said. "We are
dispatching military aircraft to Africa carrying medical supplies,
blood, and they will be in a position to medivac injured Americans
when they are in Africa. And an inter-agency response team will be
dispatched from multiple locations later on today to provide
additional security, medical and investigative personnel to the scene,
he said.

"These bombings will be thoroughly investigated and information about
whether or not there were warnings will be part of that
investigation," he said. "In light of these explosions we are taking
appropriate security precautions around the world."

Normal security procedures were being followed at the time of the
bombings, the State Department official said.

Asked who might be responsible for the bombings, Crowley would say
only that "we are treating this as a terrorist attack." He said the US
government is "not aware of any claims of responsibility" for the

The Ambassador in Tanzania is not there at the present time, he is on
vacation. The senior diplomat is the charge, John Lange, who is
coordinating efforts there, he said.

The Ambassador in Nairobi, Prudence Bushnell, "who is a very well
seasoned crisis manager at the State Department, she, I believe did
sustain some injuries but is still on duty and is still negotiating
the response to the efforts on the scene," Crowley said.

Berger has no travel plans overseas, he said. The US government,
Crowley added, is working closely with officials in both Nairobi and
Dar-es-Salaam. In Kenya, he said, "we are gratified that the British
government has made resources on the ground there in Nairobi available
to our personnel."

At the Pentagon, spokeswoman Col. Nancy Burt said the Air Force has
requested that a C-141 transport leave Ramstein Air Base in Germany
for Nairobi. It will take an Air Force surgical team, medical supplies
and a small security detail to aid in the recovery from the blast.
Colonel Burt said An Air Force C-9 medical transport will be sent
separately to Tanzania, but it has not yet been determined where it
will originate from.

At the airport in Rome, Secretary of State Albright condemned the
bombings as "dastardly and cowardly acts of apparent terrorism" and
vowed that the United States "will spare no effort and use all means
at our disposal to track down and punish the perpetrators of these
outrageous acts."

Albright was in Rome to attend the wedding of her spokesman, James
Rubin. The bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, however, cut short her stay
and she flew back to Washington immediately after making her public
statement to the press.

A State Department official said there had been no advance threats and
normal security precautions had been followed.