Related News

Home » World

Official: Mine kills US soldier in Philippines

ONE American soldier was killed and another was wounded in a landmine attack today by suspected al-Qaida-linked militants in the southern Philippines, military officials said.

US officials did not immediately comment on the blast.

It was believed to be the first death of an American soldier caused by the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf group since US troops deployed to the southern Philippines to help combat militants in 2002.

Three Philippine marines were also wounded in the blast on Jolo island, where American counterterrorism troops have been providing combat training and weapons to Filipino troops battling Abu Sayyaf militants.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner said a Philippine military convoy joined by US troops was on its way to an area in Jolo's Indanan township where troops were building two school buildings when the landmine exploded.

"They were not in combat," Brawner told reporters. "These US soldiers were there in the area to supervise the developmental projects in Indanan."

US Embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Thompson said American officials were "investigating the incident" but declined to comment further.

Suspicion immediately fell on the well-armed Abu Sayyaf, which is blamed for numerous bombings, beheadings and kidnappings of Filipinos and foreigners in the south in recent years.

The group is believed to have about 400 fighters, to have received funds from al-Qaida and is suspected of sheltering militants from the larger Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah.

An estimated 600 US troops are currently stationed in the Philippines, mostly in the southern front lines of the Philippine military's operations against the Abu Sayyaf group and Jemaah Islamiyah.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend