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Two US Airmen Killed in Shooting at Frankfurt Airport

Police officers investigate the crime scene after a gunman fired shots at US soldiers on the bus outside Frankfurt airport, Germany, killing two airmen and wounding two before being taken into custody, March 2, 2011

Two U.S. airmen were killed Wednesday in a shooting at Germany's Frankfurt International Airport. The U.S. Air Force says another two airmen were wounded.

German police said a gunman fired shots at U.S. military personnel on a bus at Frankfurt Airport.

Lt. Colonel Pamela Cook, deputy director of public affairs for U.S. Air Forces in Europe, spoke to VOA about the incident.

"What we know is that there was a shooting at the Frankfurt International Airport. There were two U.S. airmen who were killed and two U.S. airmen who were wounded during the incident. Right now we understand the German authorities have the shooter in custody, and we expect that an investigation will be under way."

Cook said the airmen were on their way to a deployment when the shooting took place.

U.S. President Barack Obama said he was "saddened and outraged" by the attack.

Kosovo’s Interior Minister Bajram Rexhepi said he had been informed by German police that the alleged shooter was Arif Uka, a Kosovo citizen from the town of Mitrovica.

Rexhepi expressed his deep regrets about the incident and said Kosovo authorities are investigating. He said it is unclear if the shooting was an act of terrorism.

Robert Payne, the international spokesman for Fraport, the owner and operator of Frankfurt Airport, said German federal authorities will handle any possible changes to airport security as a result of the incident.

"Security at airports in Germany is an area of responsibility for the German Interior Ministry, and in practical terms, carried out through the German federal police," said Payne. "So they set the standards and requirements, and if there are changes to be made from time to time, then they are the ones that implement that."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her condolences to the victims and their families, saying the government will do everything to find out what happened.

The U.S. military has a number of bases in Germany, including the Ramstein Air Base, in Ramstein.