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Kyrgyzstan Rules Out U.S. Military Using Base after 2014

Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday warned visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that American forces could not use a strategic air base for any military mission after the current lease expires in 2014.

The Manas air base at Bishkek airport serves as a crucial hub for the NATO-led force in Afghanistan and U.S. officials are concerned about the future of Manas as they review plans for troop deployments beyond mid-2014.

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Kyrgyz Prisoners End 'Lip-Sewing' Hunger Strike

Thousands of Kyrgyz prisoners have ended a 10-day hunger strike against jail conditions that saw 1,200 inmates sew up their lips in protest, an official said on Saturday.

"All the prisoners in Kyrgyzstan have ceased their hunger strike," the deputy head of the prisons service Kubanychbek Kenenbayev told reporters, saying that a women's prison in the village of Stepnoe was the last to agree.

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Plane Catches Fire on Landing in Kyrgyzstan, At Least 6 Injured

A packed Russian-made Tu-134 passenger jet flipped over and caught fire on landing in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh on Wednesday, injuring at least six people, officials and witnesses said.

There were no immediate reports of fatalities, with officials reporting bad weather conditions at the time of the accident on the Kyrgyzstan Airlines flight, which was carrying 79 people, including nine children.

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Kyrgyzstan Topples Disliked 'Statue of Liberty'

Kyrgyzstan on Friday dismantled a "Statue of Liberty" in the center of the capital Bishkek, mocked for its apparent resemblance to a widely disliked former First Lady.

Workers in the early hours took down the towering statue, which depicted a female angel sitting on top of a globe and holding aloft the roof of a traditional yurt.

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