Kuwaiti Policeman Accused of U.S. Troop Attack Extradited

A Kuwaiti policeman accused of shooting two American soldiers was extradited from neighboring Saudi Arabia, where he fled after the attack, the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry said Saturday.

Khaled Al-Shimmiri was handed over to Kuwait at the Salmi border point just before midnight, said Maj. Adel al-Hashash, spokesman for the ministry.

Interior Minister Sheik Mohammed Khaled Al Sabah, said in a statement that investigators had begun questioning Al-Shimmiri, who was detained Friday in Saudi Arabia's Hafr al-Baten region near the Kuwaiti border.

The policeman, who is said to have a history of mental problems, allegedly shot and seriously injured the two Americans along a desert highway Thursday. He was in a patrol car and used his government-issue gun in the attack.

The two soldiers, meanwhile, arrived at a U.S. military hospital in Germany on Saturday and will return to the United States soon, hospital spokeswoman Marie Shaw said.

Master Sgt. Larry Thomas, 51, and Sgt. Charles Ellis, 27, both from Lake Charles, La., arrived at Ramstein Air Base on an Air Force jet and were taken to the nearby Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

Thomas, who was shot in the upper chest, is in good condition. Ellis, who was shot in the face, is in intensive care but is stable, Shaw said.

While Kuwait sought to portray the shooting as the work of one man, the shooting occurred as fears grow that anti-Americanism is on the rise in this Persian Gulf state, a major ally of Washington. Al-Shimmiri has not been connected to any extremist religious groups.

On Oct. 8, two Kuwaiti Islamic extremists attacked a group of Marines on a break from training on a Kuwaiti island, killing one and injuring the second.

U.S. forces have been involved in several incidents since then but without casualties until Thursday.

About 10,000 U.S. troops are in Kuwait under a defense agreement signed after the Gulf War that liberated Kuwait from a seven-month Iraqi occupation. The Kuwaiti government has denounced attacks on the U.S. military personnel, calling them "terrorist" and "criminal" acts that will not affect the two countries' close ties.