Philippine firefight kills 2 soldiers, 2 militants

AP News
Posted: May 07, 2013 3:48 AM

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine military says Muslim militants have killed two soldiers in an ambush on a convoy in the country's restive south that included U.S. troops.

An army commander in Basilan province, Col. Carlito Galvez, said Tuesday that American and Filipino troops were on their way to a village in the poor, predominantly Muslim region to distribute livestock when they were attacked Monday.

He says two militants were also killed in the firefight.

U.S. troops have been training Filipino soldiers in a fight against al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf militants for more than a decade. Galvez says the Americans quickly withdrew because they are legally barred from participating in combat.

The military has recently stepped up offensives against the Abu Sayyaf, which has threatened U.S.-financed development projects.