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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

U.S. military staff missing in Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK (Reuters) - An American citizen working at a U.S. military airbase in the Central Asian state of Kyrgyzstan has gone missing, the U.S. embassy said on Wednesday.

The incident happened just weeks after the United States agreed terms with Kyrgyzstan to carry on using the Manas airbase to support operations in nearby

The embassy said the serviceperson went missing on Tuesday while shopping with a group of other Manas staff members.

It did not reveal the person's identity but separately issued three pictures of a blonde female as part of the search operation.

"The 376th AEW (Air Expeditionary Wing) base officials are working with the U.S. Embassy and local officials to locate the service member as soon as possible," the embassy said.

Kyrgyzstan, a mountainous nation to the west of China, has been plagued by instability and crime since violent protests ousted veteran leader Askar Akayev last year.
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