U.S. Embassy Employee Reported Well; Manhunt Under Way for His Assailants
MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) _ Arthur L. Pollick, the U.S. Embassy communications officer who was wounded by gunfire in North Yemen, was hospitalized and reportedly doing well today as a manhunt proceeded for his assailants.
″He’s a very lucky guy,″ said a diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in San’a, the North Yemeni capital, reached by telephone from Bahrain.
The diplomat, who spoke on condition he not be identified, said ″a lot of shots″ were fired in the Friday attack, but that one bullet only grazed Pollick’s scalp while a second that lodged in his left shoulder was extracted by surgery.
Pollick remained hospitalized today and was ″doing very well,″ the U.S. diplomat said.
The 41-year-old Pollick, of Bakersfield, Calif., was attacked in his car in Hidda, a newly developed residential suburb of San’a, after attending a church service in the home of a friend.
Arab North Yemen has no churches and non-Moslem religious services are held privately.
The North Yemeni Interior Ministry said a manhunt was being conducted to track down Pollick’s assailants and bring them to justice. Neither U.S. diplomats nor North Yemeni officials were prepared to say whether there was any clue to their identify or number.
There was no claim of responsibility.
The Friday shooting in North Yemen was similar to that which occurred in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, hours after the April 15 strike by U.S. warplanes at Libya.
Like Pollick, the U.S. Embassy officer attacked in Khartoum was a technician in the radio communications department. William John Caulkins was also driving his car when unidentified assailants sprayed him with gunshots.
One of the bullets tore through his brain. He was flown to the Saudi Arabian city of Jidda, across the Red Sea from Sudan, for surgery.
The bullet was removed, but his right side remained paralyzed. On Wednesday, Caulkins was flown to a U.S. military hospital in West Germany for further treatment.
The Khartoum shooting prompted the State Department to order a partial evacuation of U.S. dependents from Sudan.
The American deputy chief of mission in San’a, Alan Keiswetter, told The Associated Press today that at this point no instructions had come from the State Department for any evacuation from North Yemen.
About 1,000 Americans live in North Yemen, on the Red Sea near the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula.
The country was visited earlier this month by Vice President George Bush as part of the four-nation swing that included Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman.
Combatting terrorism was high on the agenda in talks Bush held with leaders of the countries he visited.