3 Afghan soldiers missing from Cape Cod base

This April 30, 2014 file photo shows Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers standing guard during a military exercise on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. The Afghan National Security Forces depend exclusively on billions of dollars in funding from the US and its allies, money that is now at risk after President Hamid Karzai's refusal to sign a security agreement to keep a small U.S. force of trainers in the country after the NATO-led coalition ends its mission and withdraws at the end of the year. Alongside the exodus of US troops from Afghanistan before the end of the year, soldiers who hail from countries like Singapore and Slovenia, Mongolia and Malaysia have been packing up too, leaving behind an ever-shrinking NATO coalition. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini, File)

CAMP EDWARDS, Mass. (AP) — Police and military officials were searching Sunday for three soldiers from the Afghanistan National Army who went missing during a training exercise at a Cape Cod military base.

The Afghan soldiers had been participating in a U.S. Central Command Regional Cooperation training exercise at Joint Base Cape Cod, U.S. military officials said. They arrived at Camp Edwards on Sept. 11 and were last seen at the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis.

The soldiers were reporting missing by base security personnel on Saturday night. They were identified as Major Jan Mohammad Arash, Captain Mohammad Nasir Askarzada and Captain Noorullah Aminyar.

Base and exercise officials were working with local and state authorities to locate them. There is no indication the soldiers pose any threat to the public, military officials said.

The Regional Cooperation training exercises have been held annually since 2004 to promote cooperation and interoperability among forces, build functional capacity, practice peacekeeping operations and enhance readiness.

This year’s exercise, which involves more than 200 participants from six nations including the U.S., wraps up on Wednesday. There are about a dozen Afghan soldiers still participating in the exercise.

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