Four U.S. soldiers die in Djibouti crash: Defense Dept

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 21, 2012 1:39 AM
Four U.S. soldiers die in Djibouti crash: Defense Dept

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Four U.S. soldiers serving in Horn of Africa operations have been killed in an air crash near a U.S. military base in Djibouti, the U.S. Department of Defense said.

The four were killed when their U-28 aircraft crashed on Saturday, a statement released late on Monday said.

"The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of four airmen who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom ...The cause of the accident is under investigation," the statement said.

It gave the names of those killed as Captain Ryan P. Hall, 30; Captain Nicholas S. Whitlock, 29; First Lieutenant Justin J. Wilkens, 26; and Senior Airman Julian S. Scholten, also 26.

The Red Sea state also hosts the largest French army camp on the continent and is used by anti-piracy naval patrols.

(Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Michael Roddy)