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No US troops attacked in Basilan — PHL military

Philippine military officials on Sunday belied reports that US troops were attacked by a group of armed in Basilan province in southern Philippines last Saturday.
 
“There are no Americans [at the site of the attack],” said Col. Ricardo Visaya, commander of both the Joint Task Force Basilan and the Army’s 104th Brigade.
 
An unidentified group of armed men, believed to be extortionists, harassed workers in a US-funded road project in Amaloy village in Ungkaya Pukan town Saturday morning, resulting in one construction worker injured.
 
Troops from the 13th Scout Ranger Company had been dispatched to pursue the alleged extortionists, whose group affiliation has yet to be known, Visaya said.
 
“We are conducting hot pursuit. We are still trying to locate them because they fled immediately. We are not sure of their group,” he said.
 
Visaya added US forces in Basilan are not helping in the pursuit. “They [Americans] did not respond… The Americans are just in my headquarters,” he said.
 
In a separate phone interview, Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, spokesman of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, denied reports that US soldiers were providing security to the road project.
 
“They sub-contracted it to the Filipino contractor so that is not their responsibility…It’s not true that the Americans were there at the time of the strafing,” he said.
 
Cabangbang said US soldiers who are based in Basilan are confined at the 104th Brigade headquarters.
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KBK, GMA News Online
February 12, 2012 4:40pm
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