- The Washington Times - Monday, September 22, 2014

Law enforcement agencies have found three soldiers from the Afghanistan National Army who vanished from a Massachusetts mall while in the country for an international peace-keeping exercise, according to a senior Pentagon official.

“It appears that these three have been located in the vicinity of the U.S.-Canadian border,” the official said.

The trio were participating in a U.S. Central Command Regional Cooperation training exercise in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said. U.S. military personnel escorted them to a mall in Hyannis, Massachusetts, and somehow lost track of them, Col. Warren said.

“There’s a cultural component to this training exercise,” he said. “So this was cultural day. They were out touring the Cape Cod area and in this case they happened to be … at the Cape Cod mall in Hyannis, Massachusetts. That’s where they were last seen.”

Col. Warren said U.S. intelligence agencies conducted extensive background checks on all the foreign soldiers participating in U.S.-led training exercise. Therefore, the U.S. military does not believe the Afghan soldiers to be a threat.

It appears that they are trying to abandon their country, a senior Pentagon official said.

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