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3 Afghan soldiers go missing from Cape Cod base

Three Afghan National Army soldiers have been reported missing from a training exercise at Joint Base Cape Cod, according to a Massachusetts National Guard spokesman.

Major Jan Mohammad Arash, Captain Mohammad Nasir Askarzada, and Captain Noorullah Aminyar were last seen at the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis on Saturday evening, according to Colonel James Sahady, a Massachusetts National Guard spokesman.

“I am told that they pose no immediate threat,” Sahady said by telephone Sunday night. “They are all senior-ranked soldiers that were allowed to come here.”

The men flew to the United States from Afghanistan on Sept. 11 to participate in a regional cooperation conference at Camp Edwards in Sandwich.

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The conference is an annual training exercise designed to strengthen relationships between the United States and Central and South Asian nations.

This year representatives from Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Mongolia, and Pakistan came to the base to work on mock operations from Sept. 17-24. Attendees receive training in stability operations and various United Nations peacekeeping operations, Sahady said.

Two hundred people are at this year’s conference, sponsored by US Central Command.

Sahady said it is unclear why the men would have left the conference and whether they were permitted to leave.


Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at jacqueline.tempera@globe.com. Follow her on twitter @jacktemp