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U.S. to Extend Philippine Military Training

The U.S. Army will train hundreds of Philippine soldiers in counterterror tactics by June, extending its presence on the troubled southern island of Mindanao, the Philippine army chief said Monday. A $30 million U.S. counterterror program aimed at helping Manila fight rebels belonging to the Abu Sayyaf militant group ended earlier this year, raising questions about the future U.S. presence in the area. “We have a new program to train additional light infantry battalions to battle unconventional warfare, like terrorism,” Gen. Narciso Abaya told Reuters in an interview. He said two army infantry battalions deployed against the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front in central Mindanao would be pulled out for training at a Zamboanga City camp in the western part of the island. Full Story

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