Saturday, April 10, 2010
Mugsy linked to Kyrgyzstan uprising?
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- As thousands of demonstrators gathered in the main square of the Kyrgyz capital Saturday amid sporadic gunfire, U.S. intelligence analysts said this week's uprising in the Central Asian nation bore the signs of outside influence from an enigmatic Texas-based canine cleric.
The pug, known as Ayatollah Mugsy, has long exerted considerable influence in the predominantly Muslim country, which also has a large dog population.
"This uprising has the ayatollah's paw prints all over it," said one U.S. intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Citizens in the main square Saturday evening chanted slogans calling for more freedom and greater access to veterinary care and vowels.
Opposition forces were seen carrying dog crates and other supplies Saturday into the presidential palace of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was forced into hiding earlier in the week. And the many episodes of looting in the capital and surrounding areas seemed to wipe out pet aisles while leaving clothing, household products and electronics largely untouched.
"All my rawhide is gone," said Umarov Bishkiyev, a shopkeeper in central Bishkek. "And the dog food, too. All gone."
Meanwhile, at the sprawling Manas Air Base, a key facility for U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, officials were scrambling to identify the crews on a series of unauthorized early-morning cargo flights that departed the country.
"In the dead of night, these three cargo planes landed, loaded up and left -- destination unknown," said Air Force Gen. Adam Hollingshead. "We found our security at the front gate and at the tower incapacitated, apparently knocked out by some kind of sleeping gas. All the surveillance cameras were wiped out. We have no idea who flew those planes or what kind of cargo they carried."
Military investigators said they were analyzing bulldog fur found at the scene.