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US airmen murdered at airport named

The US Air Force has named a British-based airman who was one of two servicemen murdered as they arrived at a German airport.

The victims of the shooting were 25-year-old Senior Airman Nicholas Alden of South Carolina, and Airman 1st Class Zachary Cuddeback of Virginia.

German authorities said a 21-year-old temporary letter sorter had admitted targeting Americans when he opened fire with a handgun on a busload of Lakenheath airmen at Frankfurt International Airport on Wednesday, killing two and wounding two others. The airmen were on their way to deployment in Afghanistan.

Senior Airman Alden was assigned to the 48th Security Forces Squadron at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk and Airman Cuddeback, who was driving the bus, was with the 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

Meanwhile, it emerged that the suspect, Arid Uka, grew up in a well-kept immigrant neighbourhood in Frankfurt as the son of a relatively prosperous, but not particularly religious family of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo - a group notable more for their pro-American outlook than mosque attendance.

A judge in Karlsruhe on Thursday ordered Uka to be held in prison on two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder.

German investigators said the indications were that Uka turned only recently to extremism. They said that he had contact with other radicals through social networking sites and elsewhere, but it appears he was not part of a terrorist organisation.

"From our investigation so far we conclude that he acted alone," Hesse's top security official, interior minister Boris Rhein said. "So far we cannot see a network."

The imam at Frankfurt's Albanian mosque, Ahmed Kajoshi, called the shootings "a great shame and terrible". He said the Ukas did not worship there.

In Washington, a US law enforcement official said Uka was not on any American watch list.

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