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U.S. Air Force Sergeant Killed in Turkey

May 29, 2003

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A member of a U.S. Air Force security team at an air base in Turkey was killed this week in an apparent homicide, military officials said Thursday.

The victim was Staff Sgt. Matthias A. Arnt III, 22, of Lebanon, Pa., according to Arnt’s parents. Air Force officials said they had a suspect in custody, the victim’s father, Matthias Arnt Jr., told the Lebanon Daily News.

The elder Arnt said Air Force officials offered few other details about the killing.

Military spokesmen at the Pentagon confirmed that the killing occurred on Monday but referred further questions to Maj. Toni Kemper, an Air Force spokesman at the base in Incirlik, Turkey. Kemper did not return telephone messages left Thursday night in Turkey.

Arnt and his wife have a 4-month-old daughter, his father said.

``I don’t know why this happened,″ the elder Arnt told the newspaper. ``I could understand if it was during a war. I think you could probably tolerate it a little more.″

U.S. and British planes had used the Incirlik air base to patrol the northern no-fly zone over Iraq before the latest war toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime. Most Americans have left the base, though Arnt’s unit remained to help provide security at the base, which U.S. planes still use as a refueling stop.

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