Mideast briefs: 13 Marines injured in N.C. bus crash
Thirteen Marines with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit were injured Thursday when three buses carrying them crashed in North Carolina, said 22nd MEU spokesman Capt. Clark Carpenter.
The Marines were on their way to Norfolk, Va., to conduct a final training exercise before deploying this spring to the U.S. European Command and Central Command regions as a theater reserve force, Carpenter said.
None of the injuries were reported as serious as of early Thursday afternoon, he said. The injured Marines are being treated at Naval Hospital, Camp Lejeune, where the unit is based.
Thursday’s crash will not delay the exercise, which is scheduled for March 10, Carpenter said. It also will not affect the unit’s upcoming deployment.
Judge upholds verdicts in Fort Dix caseCAMDEN, N.J. — A judge in New Jersey has upheld guilty verdicts against five Muslim immigrants convicted last year of plotting to massacre U.S. soldiers.
The men’s lawyers argued that the federal government’s claims against their clients were not supported by evidence.
But a federal judge in Camden disagreed and has ruled the jury was right to convict them in December. He said the men received a fair trial.
Relatives and several of the men yelled, "Allah akbar" — Arabic for "God is great" — in the courtroom after Thursday’s ruling.
The government says the men discussed attacking soldiers on the Army’s Fort Dix. The men say they didn’t seriously plan anything and they were manipulated by two paid FBI informants.
The men could get life in prison when they’re sentenced next month.
Ammunition plant in Kansas deactivatedPARSONS, Kan. — An ammunition plant in southeast Kansas built to assemble bombs for soldiers fighting in World War II was deactivated Wednesday, the first closure of an Army installation under the most recent congressional plan to shutter and reconfigure military bases.
The Kansas Army Ammunition Plant officially closed with a brief ceremony during which an olive drab cover was placed over the installation’s red flag. About 75 people attended the event in the basement of one of the facility’s buildings.
RAF Fairford fuel spill larger than thoughtRAF FAIRFORD, England — About 27,500 gallons of fuel spilled from a storage facility at RAF Fairford on Feb. 25, much higher than previously thought, Air Force officials said this week.
Initially, the Air Force estimated about 3,000 gallons spilled when an alarm and shut-off switch malfunctioned in the pump house of a fuel storage facility.
The figure is also more than initial British Environment Agency estimates of about 17,000 gallons.
An EA spokeswoman said Thursday that the agency will stick by its initial estimate until its investigation is complete.
While the fuel did flood the pump house and spill out beyond the earthen containment site and into a nearby ditch, only about 50 gallons leaked off base into a nearby waterway, according to Tech. Sgt. Kristina Barrett, a spokeswoman for the 501st Combat Support Wing, which is in charge of Fairford.
Initial estimates of the exact amount of fuel spilled were unclear because units withdrew fuel from the facility between the time it was last checked and the discovery of the spill, Barrett said.
There have been no reported adverse effects on local plants or animals because of the spill, she said, and cleanup is largely complete.