BISHKEK. Two armed Kyrgyz soldiers deserted early today and took two hostages before surrendering to authorities.
A spokesman of the Interior Ministry, Joldoshbek Busurmankulov, told RFE/RL that no one was injured during the incident. The motive for the escape was unknown, and the deserters issued no demands.
The Defense Ministry said the two had served for more than a year in a military unit in the Naryn region, southeast of the capital Bishkek, and their term of service was due to end soon. After abandoning their posts, they seized a car and took hostage the two people riding in it.
The soldiers then drove to the town of Karakol, the center of the Ysykkol region (about 400 km east of Bishkek), where they surrendered after negotiations with officials.
Compiled and translated by Tyntchtykbek Tchoroev and edited by Charles Carlson in Prague