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German Officials: Suspect Confesses to Shooting of US Airmen

A bus is towed away after a gunman fired shots at US soldiers on the bus outside Frankfurt airport, Germany, March 2, 2011

German officials say the suspect in the fatal shooting Wednesday of two U.S. airmen at Frankfurt airport has confessed to the crime.

The suspected gunman, Arid Uka, 21, from Kosovo, issued the confession before his expected appearance Thursday in a German court.

Two other U.S. airmen were wounded, one critically, when the suspect opened fire on a bus transporting U.S. Air Force members at the Frankfurt airport.

German federal prosecutors say they believe the shooting was motivated by Islamic extremism.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama said he is saddened and outraged by the attack. German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her condolences to the victims and their families, saying the government will do everything to find out what happened.

Kosovo's government also condemned the shooting.

Pamela Cook, deputy director of public affairs for the U.S. Air Force in Europe, told VOA Wednesday the airmen were on their way to a deployment when the shooting took place.

The U.S. military has a number of bases in Germany, including the Ramstein Air Base near Frankfurt. Many are used as hubs for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.