BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan – A U.S. serviceman fatally shot a civilian at a U.S. military air base in Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday "in response to a threat," the U.S. military said.
A statement released by the public affairs office at the Manas Air Base, where U.S. planes and military personnel are stationed, said an Air Force security forces air man "used deadly force in response to a threat at an entry control checkpoint."
The civilian was treated by Air Force medics and died later the base's emergency room, the statement said.
No further information was immediately released and a base spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.
Kyrgyzstan's deputy interior minister, Temirkan Subanov, told The Associated Press earlier that the driver of a fuel truck was shot twice at the base, located at the Manas airport just outside the capital, Bishkek. He said he did not know what prompted the shooting.
Co-workers identified the slain man as Alexander Ivanov, a 46-year-old Russian who worked for a company called Aerocraft Petrol Management. Co-worker Sergei Pavlov said Ivanov had worked for four years for the company, which provides fuel services for Kyrgyz and international civilian aircraft, but not American military aircraft.
Pavlov said the incident happened at a checkpoint at the airport, which is controlled by U.S. military personnel. He said drivers traveling from a fuel depot to fill up aircraft must stop at the checkpoint, exit the cabin of the truck while guards search the truck. Pavlov, who did not witness the shooting, said Ivanov was apparently shot after he exited the cabin of his truck.
The United States uses the base mostly to support U.S. forces in nearby Afghanistan.
Kyrgyzstan and the United States have struggled this year to agree on terms for the continued leasing of the base. The base's importance grew after Uzbekistan evicted the United States from a base there.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a regional grouping that includes Kyrgyzstan, has called for the United States to set a timetable for closing bases in SCO countries.
The United States military makes refueling stops at an airport in Tajikistan's capital, but does not have a base there.