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U.S. Citizen At Manas Detained On Hooliganism Charges

An employee of the U.S. military transit center at the Manas international airport near Bishkek has been detained for alleged hooliganism.

The Kyrgyz Interior Ministry's press service said on March 10 that the suspect -- Cornelius Branden, a U.S. citizen born in 1985 in Monterrey, California -- assaulted a Kyrgyz police officer on March 9 when police tried to question him about a complaint filed by a local woman.

The woman accused Branden of trying to force her to have sex for money.

Police said that Branden was drunk, broke a desk in the police station, and tore the insignia from a police officer's uniform.

Police detained Branden and informed the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek about the incident. Police said employees of the Manas transit center enjoy diplomatic immunity.

There has been no U.S. comment on the incident.

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