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Kyrgyzstan Plans New U.S., Russian Facilities In South

U.S. servicemen board a plane bound for Afghanistan at the transit center at Manas airport.
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbaeva says her country plans to host two new U.S. and Russian military training facilities in the south, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

In a meeting with journalists at her official residence in Bishkek today, Otunbaeva said that Kyrgyzstan needed to strengthen its southern borders in the Osh, Jalal-Abad, and Batken regions.

In order to do so, she said, the Kyrgyz government had agreed that Russia would establish a military training center in Osh.

The second military training center will be established in Batken, with U.S. funding. She did not specify any time frame.

Kyrgyz officials have said the country is vulnerable to infiltration by Islamist extremists from neighboring Tajikistan.

Kyrgyzstan is the only Central Asian country that de facto hosts both U.S. and Russian military bases.

The U.S. military transit center at the Manas airport near Bishkek is used by U.S. troops to deliver nonlethal military cargo to international forces in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Russia has a military base near the town of Kant in northern Kyrgyzstan.

Read more in Kyrgyz here