Police in Kyrgyzstan said Monday they have detained three teenagers who stole dozens of pieces of metal from a U.S. Air Force supply depot at the anti-terror coalition base on the territory of an airport in the Central Asian nation.
The teenagers, all born in 1988, were arrested Saturday, a week after the theft, an official in the Interior Ministry said on condition of anonymity. He said all three lived in Manas, the village outside the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek that is home to Manas International Airport.
The youngsters took 26 metal poles, six metal crossbars and 29 aluminum fasteners used for airplanes from a U.S. Air Force depot at the airport, the official said. He said police believe they planned to sell them to scrap metal dealers.
About 1,800 coalition troops have been based at Manas since December, part of an unprecedented deployment of foreign forces in former Soviet republics in Central Asia that allowed the use of their territory and airspace for operations in nearby Afghanistan.
Associated Press, September 2, 2002