US: Saudi military students flight training suspended

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Aden - Yasmin Abdel Azim - A general view of the atmosphere at the Pensacola Naval Air Station following a shooting on December 06, 2019 in Pensacola, Florida. The second shooting on a U.S. Naval Base in a week has left three dead plus the suspect and seven people wounded. Image Credit: AFP

Washington: The Pentagon announced Tuesday it was temporarily suspending operational training for Saudi military students in the United States following a shooting rampage last week by a Saudi air force officer.

It follows a decision by the U.S. Navy to halt flight training for more than 300 Saudi Arabian students at the Pensacola Naval Air Station and two other bases in Florida.

Saudi military students in the US will continue classroom training but operational training is halted pending a security review, the US Defense Department said.

Mohammed Alshamrani, a 21-year-old lieutenant in the Saudi Royal Air Force, opened fire in a classroom at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida on Friday, killing three American sailors and wounding eight other people before being shot dead by police.

The Pentagon has said that about 850 Saudi students are currently in U.S. military training programs.

The motivation for Alshamrani to open fire in a classroom has not been cleared yet. The 21-year-old did not have any ties with any terrorist groups.

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