U.S. charges gunman in Germany shootings

NEW YORK Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:36pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors in New York on Tuesday announced murder charges against a Kosovan man who shot dead two U.S. airmen and wounded two others at Frankfurt airport in March.

Arid Uka, a 21-year-old Kosovan national, confessed to firing on the U.S. airmen at point-blank range with a 9mm pistol, German authorities said following the March 2 attack. He is currently detained in Germany.

"As Uka fired his gun, he repeated aloud an Arabic expression that means, 'God is great,' and continued shooting until his gun did not fire," Manhattan U.S. attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

Prosecutors charged Uka with three counts of murder and attempted murder of U.S. soldiers, along with other charges

A spokeswoman declined to comment on whether Uka would be extradited to the United States to face the charges.

Uka, who was working on a short-term contract at the Frankfurt international postal center at the airport, often came across traveling U.S. servicemen, but only planned the attack after watching an online video, German officials said.

The attack was deemed to be a solo act, and Uka was never linked to any terrorist organization.

(Reporting by Basil Katz; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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