Sudan Signs Deal with Families of USS Cole Bombing Victims
The Sudanese justice ministry said early Thursday it had signed a deal with the families of the American servicemen killed in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen to meet US conditions for removing Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
The deal was signed in Washington last week, the ministry said in a statement, but stopped short of specifying the amount of compensation agreed.
"As part of the transitional government's effort to remove Sudan from the terrorism list, a deal has been signed on February 7 with the families of the victims of the USS Cole incident," the ministry said.
"The deal clearly specifies that the government of Sudan was not responsible for the incident or any such terrorist incident and it is doing this deal only to... fulfill the condition put by the American administration to remove Sudan from its terrorism list."
On October 12, 2000, a rubber boat loaded with explosives blew up as it rounded the bow of the guided-missile destroyer, which had just pulled into Aden, Yemen, for a refueling stop.
Seventeen American sailors were killed as well as the two perpetrators of the attack claimed by al-Qaeda.
A US court then ruled that Sudan, where the two bombers were trained, was responsible for the attack -- a claim Khartoum always denied.
In 1993, Washington listed Sudan in its terrorism blacklist.