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Kyrgyz Agencies Searching For U.S. Servicewoman

U.S. personnel at Manas air base (file photo) (USDoD) BISHKEK, September 6, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyzstan's Interior Ministry and National Security Service say they have launched a joint operation to locate the U.S. air servicewoman who disappeared on September 5 in Bishkek.

The woman, who has been identified as Major Jill Metzger, is working at the U.S. Manas military air base, near Bishkek.

Manas air base public affairs officer Ann Carpenter told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service that Metzger disappeared while shopping at Bishkek's main department store (TsUM) with other U.S. base members.

"The [U.S.] 376th Air Expeditionary Wing base officials are working with the U.S. Embassy and local officials to locate the servicemember as soon as possible," Carpenter added.

The U.S. Embassy in Bishkek has issued pictures of a blonde woman as part of the search operation.

The Pentagon has been operating the Manas air base for operations in nearby Afghanistan since 2001.

(with Kyrgyz news agencies)