Filipino fighters killed in Iraq

The Philippines is verifying with the Iraqi military a report that Filipinos were among the anti-US fighters killed in an American-backed assault last week in Iraq.

    The Iraqi commandos were backed by US air and ground fire

    According to the US foreign affairs department on Sunday, Iraqi troops assaulted a resistance training camp in the country's central region last Tuesday - killing 85 suspected anti-US fighters.


    Among those killed were Iraqis, Filipinos, Algerians, Moroccans and Afghans, an Iraqi military official, Major General Rashid Filaigh, told Iraqi state television last week.


    "The Philippine Embassy in Baghdad is inquiring with Iraqi military authorities for confirmation of that report," said Gilbert Asuque, spokesman of the Department

    of Foreign Affairs in Manila.


    "We want to have the basic facts before even venturing into the security implications of this," Asuque said.


    Hundreds of Filipinos joined Afghans who waged an armed resistance against the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan.


    Among those Filipinos was Abd al-Razaq Janjalani,

    who returned home and founded the Abu Sayyaf seperatist group around 1990.

    SOURCE: Unspecified


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