KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Two Ramstein-based airmen in Bulgaria for an exercise got into a brawl at a local disco last weekend, but there are conflicting reports about how it happened.

U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria John Beryle told Bulgarian reporters last week it appears the airmen were the victims.

But the Sofia News Agency reported on its Web site that witnesses said the airmen were drunk and started the fight at the Imperia Club in the town of Sliven after they threw nuts at patrons and “behaved quite rudely.”

“The Ambassador has called for a full investigation into the incident, and the Bulgarian authorities are in the process of conducting that inquiry,” the U.S. Embassy in Sofia said in a statement sent to Stars and Stripes. “However, both the Bulgarians and the Americans agree that our important partnership will remain strong now and into the future.”

Beryle told reporters he expected a “full investigation” into the incident and hoped the perpetrators would be punished.

The airmen were among the roughly 200 members of the Ramstein-based 37th Airlift Squadron in Bulgaria for a joint exercise called Thracian Spring 07. The group was expected to return to Germany on Friday.

One report said the airmen were beaten up so badly they had to be treated at a hospital. Another said they were transported back to Germany.

The Air Force could not confirm those reports. An Air Force spokeswoman reached on Friday was unable to provide additional information before deadline.

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