Second largest airport in Europe. Frankfurt
Photo: AP

2 US soldiers killed in Frankfurt airport shooting

Shooting attack on bus carrying US troops kills two soldiers, injures two others. German authorities arrest 21-year-old suspect from Kosovo

A gunman fired shots at US military personnel on a bus outside Frankfurt airport on Wednesday, killing two soldiers and wounding two before being taken into custody, authorities said.


Kosovo's interior minister told The Associated Press that German police have identified the gunman as a Kosovo citizen. The suspect's uncle later said the man is a German Muslim who worked at the Frankfurt airport. 


The attack came as the bus sat outside Terminal 2 at the airport, Frankfurt police spokesman Manfred Fuellhardt said.

Frankfurt shooting scene (Photo: AP)


The two killed were the bus driver and a passenger, and one person suffered serious wounds and another one light injuries, Fuellhardt said. 


US Air Force Europe spokeswoman Maj. Beverly Mock said all four victims were airmen. She said she could not yet say where they were based, nor give any other details until their next of kin had been notified.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin that two American soldiers had been killed, as she condemned the "terrible incident."


"We'll do everything possible to find out what happened," she pledged.


'A devastating, tragic event' 

At the airport, taxi cab driver Salimi Seraidon said he was sitting at a stand about 200 yards (meters) away when the attack took place, and that it was over quickly as police rushed onto the scene.


"We just heard the shots," he said.


Fuellhardt said he could not give out any information on the suspect, but authorities in Kosovo said he was a citizen of the tiny Balkan nation.


Kosovo Interior Minister Bajram Rexhepi said in an interview that German police have identified the suspect Arif Uka, a Kosovo citizen from the northern town of Mitrovica.


"This is a devastating and a tragic event," Rexhepi said. "We are trying to find out was this something that was organized or what was the nature of the attack."  


While German police had no immediate information on what could be behind the shooting, a member of the US House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Patrick Meehan, said in Washington that it looked like a terrorist attack.


The chairman of the subcommittee that focuses on terrorism and intelligence added he did not have all the facts about the shooting yet and was still being briefed by his staff.


But German news agency DAPD quoted Hesse's state interior minister, who had rushed to the scene of the shooting, as saying that there were no indications of a terrorist attack.


The US has drastically reduced its forces in Germany over the last decade, but still has some 50,000 troops stationed here. It operates several major facilities in the Frankfurt region, including the Ramstein Air Base often used as a logistical hub for operations in Afghanistan or Iraq. 



פרסום ראשון: 03.02.11, 18:08
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