Wounded U.S. contractor recovering

Saturday, January 25, 2003

KUWAIT CITY -- An American civilian who was shot by a suspected Muslim extremist in Kuwait is out of intensive care and may return home soon, the U.S. ambassador said Friday.

Ambassador Richard Jones praised Kuwait and Saudi Arabia for their quick action against the suspect in Tuesday's ambush that also killed an American contractor working for the U.S. military.

"He is making a very speedy recovery," Richard Jones said after visiting 37-year-old David Caraway, of San Diego, Calif.

Caraway and Michael Rene Pouliot, 46, also of San Diego, were ambushed in their vehicle at a stoplight near Camp Doha, the U.S. military base 10 miles west of Kuwait City.

Pouliot died from his wounds. Caraway was shot in the chest, arm and leg and underwent surgery Tuesday. Both men worked for Tapestry Solutions, a San Diego-based software company.

Jones said Caraway should soon be able to return home. U.S. Embassy spokesman John Moran said Caraway was being taken to another Kuwait medical facility where he will be evaluated to see if he is well enough to travel to Germany on Friday.

A 25-year-old Kuwaiti identified as Sami al-Mutairi was arrested in Saudi Arabia after the ambush and deported to Kuwait, where officials said he confessed to the shooting.

The ambush was the first shooting of U.S. civilians and the third on Americans since October in the oil-rich emirate, where pro-American sentiment is strong. America led the coalition that forced Iraq to abandon its 1990-91 occupation of Kuwait. Thousands of U.S. troops are assembling here ahead of a possible new war on neighboring Iraq.

"We have to be pleased with the speed and efficiency" of Saudi Arabia's and Kuwait's actions to apprehend the suspect, Jones said.

But, he said, "There are definitely people out there who wish us harm."

On Oct. 8, two Kuwaiti Muslim fundamentalists shot U.S. Marines on the island of Failaka, killing one and injuring another. A policeman later described as "mentally unstable" shot and seriously wounded two U.S. soldiers in their civilian car on a highway Nov. 21.

About 8,000 American civilians live in Kuwait along with thousands of military personnel based there.

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