When grenades exploded at a 101st Airborne command center in Kuwait early Sunday, CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassmann was a few tents away from the blast.
In an exclusive report, he described the bedlam that followed the attack that killed one and wounded 13 servicemen. A U.S. soldier was detained as a suspect in the attack, the Army said.
Three of those who sustained serious injuries were undergoing surgery, the military said.
With an act of terrorism that reportedly came from within their own ranks, the troops of the 101st Airborne were jolted out of bed.
In the tent of Col. Ben Hodges, the camp's commander, his command sergeant major, Brent Womack noticed sparks on the tent floor. He recalls, "I went to the back of tent to get him up and to simultaneously get him down, away from the explosion."
That grenade never exploded. But the other two did, in tents that were directly behind correspondent Strassman's: "I heard two powerful booms, then screaming,: he reports. "When confused soldiers inside those tents ran outside, at least one of them was shot, investigators believe, by the same attacker."
A search was quickly begun and before long, it had focused on a single soldier, a sergeant engineer living in the camp. He was found, injured, hiding in a bunker.
"We tried to get accountability of everybody," explained Col. Hodges, "and we noticed who was missing, and the sergeant was unaccounted for."
Searchers found four grenades, three that were tossed into tents and a fourth inside the suspect's gas mask bag. No motive was given.
The grenades were in locked boxes, Strassmann says, and the theory in the camp is that the suspect opened those boxes overnight while he was leading a guard patrol and supposed to be protecting the very troops he is now accused of betraying.
Military officials have not released the name of the suspect but are looking hard at his recent conversion to Islam.
Then the unthinkable got worse. Suddenly, overhead, there was a flash in the sky. A U.S. Patriot missile struck what was thought to be a military Scud, but it was a British fighter jet returning from a mission.
It was a night, Strassmann reports, when tragedy came calling on the coalition in the desert not once, but twice.
The home base for the 101st Airborne is Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and CBS News Correspondent Bob McNamara reports that a spokesman said nothing will change because of the grenade incident. But anxiety at Fort Campbell is sky high now that the deadly reality of this war has come home.
"It's an isolated incident. It's one guy. He may have snapped." Carolyn Garcia, the wife of one of the soldiers in the 101st, says, "It makes me wonder how many others are out there."
The trouble in Kuwait came on the heels of a rally at Fort Campbell in support for the war and the troops of the 101st. Many of the wives, the young
children and the husbands of soldiers in the war zone wanted to counter the protests elsewhere against the war.
The anti-war protests, said one, bring down the soldiers' morale. "They feel like they're going over there to do a job, to protect us, to make us better,
and they see people not supporting that decision."
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