BISHKEK, May 8. The U.S.-led anti-terrorism coalition at Kyrgyzstan's Ganci Airbase is expanding its real estate lease to increase security and comfort. The coalition said in a statement today that the Kyrgyz Defense Ministry has agreed to lease an additional 300 hectares of land north of the civilian Manas airport where troops are currently located.
The announcement followed a U.S. State Department warning earlier this week that U.S. interests in Kyrgyzstan might be targeted by extremist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. The department describes the IMU as a "terrorist organization with links to al-Qaida."
Kyrgyzstan authorized the United States to build a base at Manas airport, 30 km from the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, for support forces for the anti-terrorism coalition that was then focusing on Afghanistan. The base now houses about 1,500 people from several European countries and the United States.
Compiled and translated by Tyntchtykbek Tchoroev and edited by Charles Carlson in Prague