One killed, 12 injured by 'resentful' Muslim GI
Kuwait Soldier in custody after grenade attack at US base
Oliver Burkeman in Washington, The Observer, Sunday March 23 2003

An American army sergeant was in custody yesterday after one soldier died and at least 12 were injured in a grenade attack on a US command centre in Kuwait.

Tents belonging to the 101st Airborne Division at Camp Pennsylvania, central Kuwait, were left burnt and bloodstained after two grenades were thrown at around 1.20am local time yesterday. 

Two Kuwaiti translators were detained, but about an hour after the incident the missing sergeant, described as "armed and dangerous", was found hiding in a bunker. Three of his grenades were missing, and some witnesses said they had heard a third explosion. 

The soldier was a Muslim, Sergeant Asan Akbar, an engineer from the 326th Engineer Battalion, said George Heath, a spokesman at the division's home base at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. 

Sgt Akbar had been "having what some might call an attitude problem," Mr Heath told reporters. He has not been charged. 

According to reporters based at the camp, Sgt Akbar was angry about the war in Iraq and might also have been the target of derogatory anti-Muslim remarks at the camp. 

He had been acting "insubordinate", Time magazine's correspondent at Camp Pennsylvania reported, and "his superiors had decided not to bring him into Iraq". 

The motive was probably "resentment", a US army spokesman said. Other Muslim soldiers at the camp have apparently complained about a hostile atmosphere. 

The tents targeted were described as command tents housing officers of the 1st Brigade. Immediately after the second blast, soldiers could be heard screaming: "Get out! Get out!" One woman yelled: "I'm hit!" and reports described moments of disorder as bleeding soldiers tried to bandage themselves before medics arrived. Soldiers initially feared the camp had come under terrorist attack. 

Footage showed Sgt Akbar being led away handcuffed. There were unconfirmed reports that a second soldier had been detained by military police. 

At least three of the 11 people evacuated to military hospitals by helicopter were reported to be seriously injured. Colonel Richard Thomas, the division surgeon, said most of the soldiers were expected to recover but that several of the injuries were very serious. 

The phenomenon of soldiers deliberately attacking those on the same side became known as "fragging" during the Vietnam war, because fragmentation grenades were often used. The attacks were often sparked by confrontations involving racism. 

Precise figures remain unknown, but according to some historians at least 600 American soldiers were killed in fragging attacks in the course of the Vietnam conflict.

refusing to kill