BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Chinese Vietnamese Burmese Thai Indonesian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Asia-Pacific  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 18 June, 2002, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
US troops under fire in Philippines
basilan
US troops on joint operations on Basilan
US troops have come under fire in the Philippines for the first time since they began joint operations to crush Abu Sayyaf rebels.

About 10 suspected rebels fired briefly on US military engineers working on a road project in Maligue on the southern island of Basilan.

US Marines guarding them returned fire, resulting in an unknown number of casualties.

Security has now been stepped up, but the US said similar infrastructure projects being undertaken by the US troops would not be affected.

More than 1,000 US troops are in the southern Philippines helping local forces in hunting the Abu Sayyaf, who have been linked to the al-Qaeda network of Osama bin Laden.

Some 340 of them are US engineers, known as the Seabees, who are building roads, wells and rebuilding an abandoned airstrip in Basilan.

Hostage killed

A number of Abu Sayyaf rebels are known to be in the island's dense jungle.

seals
Elite US Navy Seals form part of the US force
The Americans are barred from taking part in combat except in self-defence.

But defence department spokesman Melchor Rosales said the US Marines had acted within the guidelines that governed the joint operations.

US Navy construction teams are also building bridges, ports and helicopter landing zones to help the Philippine military move around the island and foster goodwill among the island's 300,000 residents.

Two weeks ago Filipino forces recovered US hostage Gracia Burnham in a bloody rescue in which her husband, Martin, and a Filipina nurse were killed.


Key stories

European probe

Background

IN DEPTH
See also:

11 Jun 02 | Asia-Pacific
19 Mar 02 | Asia-Pacific
06 Dec 01 | Asia-Pacific
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes