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Pentagon Says Evidence Indicates Terrorists Involved in Attack on French Tanker - 2002-10-10

Pentagon officials say the initial findings of investigators suggest that blast aboard a French oil tanker off Yemen's coast was the result of a deliberate terrorist attack.

A defense official says investigators who visited the crippled French tanker have found fragments of a small boat as well as traces of explosive materials.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, says those findings are consistent with a terrorist suicide boat attack on the tanker.

Some crew members have reported seeing a small boat speeding toward the tanker last Sunday moments before the blast.

One crewman was killed in the incident. Two years ago, 17 U.S. sailors were killed off the Yemeni coast when terrorists slammed a small boat loaded with explosives into the American destroyer, the USS Cole. That attack has been blamed on the al-Qaida terrorist network.