Air Force News

Embassy blasts kill, wound hundreds

Released: 7 Aug 1998

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Defense Department emergency-response teams are being dispatched to aid victims of devastating explosions Aug. 7 at two U.S. embassies in Africa.

President Clinton said the terrorist attacks "appear to have been coordinated, no one has yet claimed responsibility for them." He noted that "several Americans" were killed in the blast in Nairobi, Kenya, with scores more wounded.

Another explosion in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, also caused many casualties. The president said, "At this time there are no reports that any Americans were killed in that attack, although our embassy appears to have been the target."

The United States, according to Clinton, has dispatched Defense Department and State Department emergency-response teams to the region. They include medical people, disaster relief experts, criminal investigators and counter-terrorism specialists.

Details of Air Force support are being worked out, awaiting orders through State and Defense Department channels.

"We have taken appropriate security measures at our embassies and military facilities throughout the region and around the world," he said.

"These acts of terrorist violence are abhorrent; they are inhuman," Clinton said. "We will use all the means at our disposal to bring those responsible to justice, no matter what or how long it takes."

The president added that "out of respect for those who lost their lives, I have ordered that the American flag be flown at half-staff at all government buildings here at home and around the world. We are determined to get answers and justice."

For people concerned about relatives and friends at the embassies, the State Department has set up a hotline at (202) 647-5225.


* Department of Defense
* President Clinton
* State Department