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article imageUpdate: Missing Afghans stopped at Canadian border

By Martin Laine     Sep 23, 2014 in World
Three Afghan military officers who went missing over the weekend from an international training program on Cape Cod were detained Monday morning by Canadian border officials at the Rainbow Bridge crossing in Buffalo, NY.
Maj. Jan Muhammad Arash, Capt. Muhammad Nasir Askarzada, and Capt. Noorullah Aminyar were turned over to American authorities late Monday afternoon, according to an article in the Boston Globe. It will now be up to Homeland Security to decide whether to return the men to Camp Edwards in Sandwich, Mass., or send them home to Afghanistan.
The men were taking part in an annual training program at Camp Edwards that included 200 people from six nations. The purpose is to promote cooperation between the armed forces of the United States and central and south Asian nations.
At the time of their disappearance, some observers expressed the fear that there might be some sinister reason. Officials consistently sought to reassure the public that the men had been fully vetted before being allowed into the country and posed no threat.The men had arrived in this country on Sept. 11, and had visas valid through Wednesday, the day the training program ends. Officials say the men are not accused of any crime.
No explanation has been given for their flight from the program thus far. However, speculation is that they were seeking political asylum.
“People are concerned about the uncertainty in the country and the future, particularly young people,” said former Afghan interior minister Ali Ahmed Jalali, in the Globe article. “Many just want a better life. I sense this might be the reason for (the soldiers) to leave the country.”
At least one observer thought this might have been a last-minute decision, rather than part of something planned in advance.
“It could have been something they cooked up once they were here,” said Scott Stewart of Stratford, an international consulting firm, in an article in the Boston Herald. “By any measure things are going to be grim once the U.S. pulls out and especially for members of the security forces.”
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