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Troops killed in Philippines blast
Landmine kills two US soldiers and a Filipino marine on southern island of Jolo.
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2009 08:19 GMT
US forces have been providing training to Filipino troops on Jolo since 2002 [AP]

Two US troops and a Filipino soldier have been killed in a landmine explosion on the southern Philippines island of Jolo.

The cause of the explosion is thought to have been a landmine, planted by members of the Abu Sayyaf group.

US troops have been providing combat and counterterrorism training to Filippino troops battling the Abu Sayyaf.

The two dead US soldiers are believed to be the first American casualties in region since they were first deployed in 2002.

Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner, a military spokesman, said a joint convoy joined was on its way to an area in Jolo's Indanan township when the land mine exploded.

The convoy was assisting an operation to build two schools and dig wells in the township.

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

Brawner said no suspects had been immediately identified, but suspicion immediately fell on the Abu Sayyaf.

The group, which has been linked to al Qaeda, is blamed for numerous bombings, beheadings and kidnappings of Filipinos and foreigners in the south in recent years.

Source:
Agencies
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