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Action call over 'kidnapped' pilot

THE Bahrain government has a month to respond to allegations that a Bahraini F-16 pilot was kidnapped by the US two-and-a-half years ago.

MPs claim he is being held in a secret prison or possibly at Guantanamo Bay, along with other Arab fighter pilots.

Lieutenant Colonel Abdulaziz Saleh Sultan Sinan Al Dossary was thought to have died when his plane disappeared during training manoeuvres on Septem-ber 27, 2003.

His warplane vanished off radar screens at around 8pm during a routine training flight over the Northern Gulf.

They now want the government to resume the search for the pilot and suspect he could still be alive.

"I believe that the Americans are holding him with 35 other Saudi warplane pilots - who also disappeared on the same night - in one of their camps, maybe Guantanamo Bay or in the US," said MP Abdulaziz Al Moosa during parliament's session yesterday.

"The family is living in agony because nothing has been done to uncover the truth.

"If he was from a superpower country, this issue wouldn't have been put to rest without everything being covered.

"The belongings of Mr Al Dossary, which he left before going onto the plane, have all vanished after his disappearance according to his wife."

The government has to respond to the claims after MPs voted in favour of further investigating the issue.

At the time, Bahraini, US, British, Australian and New Zealand rescue teams searched for any sign of the plane or the pilot without success, according to the US Navy.

They searched for nearly 70 hours and covered more than 1,300 square miles of water with ships, small boats and helicopters.

An area five times the size of Bahrain was covered.

It was thought that he could have crashed into the sea after becoming disorientated during a dive manoeuvre with his wingman.

There was no mayday signal prior to the disappearance and sources said Lt Col Al Dossary did not eject from the plane as it went down because the ejector seat would have given off a signal when it touched the water.

Lt Col Al Dossary was described as one of the most senior officers in the F-16 First Squadron and a qualified flight instructor. He was said to be flying at an altitude of 18,000 feet just moments before his plane disappeared from the radar.

A second F-16 involved in the exercise later landed safely

in Bahrain.

Lt Col Al Dossary left behind a wife and four children - Fatima, aged 12, Sultan, nine, Dhabya, six, and Saud, who was born around the time of his disappearance.



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