U.S. targets suspected USS Cole bombing planner in Yemen: statement

FILE PHOTO: A US naval war ship, the USS Cole that was attacked yesterday, floats October 13, 2000 in the Yemeni port of Aden with a white cloth covering the hole created by an explosion. AN/WS/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. strike targeted a militant in Yemen believed to be one of the planners of a deadly bombing of the Navy destroyer USS Cole in 2000, but the results of the strike were still being assessed, the U.S. military said on Friday.

U.S. Central Command said in a statement that the strike on Jan. 1 in the Marib governorate of Yemen had targeted Jamal al-Badawi, who was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2003 and was wanted for his role in the USS Cole attack. He escaped from prison in Yemen twice, once in 2003 and again in 2006.

There is a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest.

On Oct. 12, 2000, two men in a small boat detonated explosives alongside the Navy guided missile destroyer as it was refueling in Aden, killing 17 sailors, wounding more than three dozen others and blasting a gaping hole in its hull.

Reporting by Idrees Ali; editing by Grant McCool