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USS Cole victims' families agree to settle lawsuit

USS Cole victims' families agree to settle lawsuit
Posted at 6:23 PM, Feb 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-12 18:23:15-05

NORFOLK, Va. - Families of the victims of the USS Cole have reached a settlement over a lawsuit with Sudan, attorneys in the case confirm.

Sudan has agreed to settle the case for about $30 million. The money will be split among the families of the 17 Sailors who died in the October 2000 attack.

The settlement ends years of back and forth between Sudan and the families.

"It will afford the families some closure, I believe, in terms of putting litigation to rest," said Nelson Jones, an attorney for the families.

The attack happened on October 12, 2000 when the Cole was at port in Yemen refueling. Al-Qaeda terrorists on a boat set off explosives, creating a gash in the ship's side. In addition to the 17 who died, dozens more were hurt.

The families sued, alleging Sudan aided al-Qaeda in carrying out the attack. The U.S. has considered Sudan a state sponsor of terrorism since 1993.

Christopher Curran, an attorney representing the Republic of Sudan, said, " As Sudan has stated in the past, Sudan expresses sympathy to the victims of the Cole and their families. But Sudan reaffirms that it was not involved in the attack on the Cole or in any other acts of terrorism, and expressly maintains that position in the settlement. Nonetheless, the transitional government of Sudan wishes to resolve historical terrorism allegations as part of its effort to normalize relations with the United States and the rest of the world."

Jones believe the settlement means the families can close this chapter.

"It's been a long march to justice in this matter," said Jones.