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3 Troops Killed in Philippines Land Mine Blast

By VOA News
29 September 2009

The Philippine military says two members of the U.S. Navy and a Philippine marine were killed Tuesday in a landmine explosion on the restive southern island of Jolo.

Military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Romeo Brawner had earlier said that the two Americans were in the Army. Brawner said two other Philippine marines were wounded, when the vehicle they were riding in hit the mine near a marine outpost outside the town of Indanan.

The American deaths are the first since 2002, when a soldier at a restaurant in the southern port city of Zamboanga was killed by a bomb placed outside the building.

The United States has had military forces stationed in the southern Philippines since 2002 to advise and train Philippine soldiers in counter-insurgency operations.

The U.S. forces are not allowed to engage in combat operations, although they are often the targets of insurgents.

Philippine forces have been battling the Islamic militant group Abu Sayyaf in Jolo.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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