Afghan Military members at large in US

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - U.S. military investigators are asking law enforcement nationwide to be on the lookout for 17 Afghan military members who went AWOL (absent without leave) while training in Texas.

Air Force spokesman Gary Emery said Friday the Afghans disappeared from Lackland Air Force Base one-by-one over the last 18 months.

Emery says the men were vetted by the military and aren't believed to be connected to one another or to any terrorist group.

All had been studying English as a precursor to training sponsored by the U.S. and Afghan militaries. Emery says the disappearances were reported to immigration and federal law enforcement when they occurred, but a nationwide alert was issued Wednesday. It wasn't immediately clear what prompted the alert.

A message left for investigators wasn't returned.

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