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U.S. Officer Describes Kyrgyzstan Abduction

September 10, 2006|From the Associated Press

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — A U.S. Air Force officer who was missing for three days says someone stuffed an object in her jeans pocket with a note saying it was a bomb and telling her to go to a site in Bishkek, where kidnappers grabbed her, Kyrgyz authorities said Saturday.

They said Maj. Jill Metzger reported feeling as if she were in a trance as she followed the instructions. U.S. officials said the 33-year-old officer was in "stable condition" at an American base.

Metzger disappeared Tuesday in Bishkek, capital of this former Soviet state in Central Asia, while shopping for souvenirs before a scheduled departure from the country Friday. Her disappearance touched off an extensive search by Kyrgyz police and U.S. military personnel, including 22 special agents.

But no trace was found until late Friday when she knocked on the door of a house in Kant, a town about 20 miles east of Bishkek, and told its residents she had been abducted, Kyrgyz Deputy Interior Minister Omurbek Suvanaliyev said.

Military officials said Metzger was a newlywed and had been scheduled to travel with her husband to Jamaica for a belated 10-day honeymoon.

Suvanaliyev said Metzger told Kyrgyz police she had been abducted by three young men and a woman in a minibus and held in a rural area about 30 miles from Bishkek.

Kemilbek Kiyazov, chief of the regional police, said the major reported that she was met by the four people, who put her into a vehicle, took her to a house and placed her in a dark room. He quoted her as saying she managed to escape after an abductor brought her food and she struck him.

Kiyazov said Metzger's blondish hair had been dyed dark brown and her hands were stained with dye.

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