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U.S. suspends flight training for Saudi students

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 12/11/19, 12:45 pm

The Pentagon on Tuesday halted operational training for Saudi Arabian students in the United States and ordered a review of vetting procedures. The suspension applies only to flying sessions, while classroom activities will continue. The decision grounded more than 300 Saudi military aviation students following last week’s shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.

Why the suspension? Friday’s attack by 2nd Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani, 21, could strain relations between the two countries. Alshamrani killed three people and left seven others injured before sheriff deputies shot and killed him. The base includes a college-style campus where a broad array of service members learn aviation-related skills.

Dig deeper: Read a New York Times report about Alshamrani’s training in the United States.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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