Ukraine says top commander held after base stormed

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By AP

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Updated: Sun, 23 Mar 2014 07:15:22 EST

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's acting president says a top air force commander is being held after his base in Crimea was stormed by pro-Russian forces and is calling for his release.

Col. Yuliy Mamchur is the commander of the Belbek Air Force base near Sevastopol, which was taken over Saturday by forces who sent armored personnel carriers smashing through the base's walls and fired shots and stun grenades. One Ukrainian serviceman was reported wounded in the clash. It was unclear if the forces, who didn't bear insignia, were Russian military or local pro-Russia militia.

President Oleksandr Turchynov, in a statement Sunday, said Mamchur was "abducted" by the forces. He didn't specify where Mamchur is believed to be held.

Russia formally annexed the Crimean Peninsula, which is home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

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