Friday, August 7, 1998

Bombs explode almost simultaneously at the U.S. embassies in Kenya, Tanzania, leaving 256 dead, some 5,000 injured. The unheard of Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Places claims responsibility, saying it wants Western troops out of Muslim countries. Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Saudi dissident Osama Bin Laden, Iraq are the prime suspects. (The CIA listening post monitoring Iraq is headquartered in Nairobi, and 8 yrs. ago today the 1st U.S. troops landed on Saudi soil following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.) U.S., Israel immediately send rescue teams to Kenya, where there is significant damage. PM Netanyahu offers to investigate the incidents. (MM 8/7; AFP 8/7, AFP, al-Jumhuriyya, SA 8/8, AFP, al-Wafd, YA 8/9, al-Ahram 8/10 in WNC 8/11; NYT, WP, WT 8/8; Independent, WT 8/9; IGPO, NYT, WP, WT 8/10; MA 8/11 in WNC 8/12; al-Safir 8/11 in WNC 8/14; WP 8/12; SA 8/12 in WNC 8/13; MM 8/13; NYT 8/20; WT 8/24)

Israeli DM Mordechai phones U.S. special envoy Ross to ask him to come to the region to help move talks forward. Ross says he will not come until there are signs of real progress. (MA 8/9 in WNC 8/11)

High-level U.S. official phones UNSCOM head Butler to urge him to postpone "challenge inspections" planned for 8/9 so as to avoid a new crisis with Iraq. Butler orders the UNSCOM team to leave Baghdad to protests U.S.'s "go-slow" policy. (WP 8/14; WP, WT 8/15; NYT 8/17; WP 8/18) (see 8/4)