US, Filippino troops attacked in Jolo
US and Philippine soldiers on an aerial reconnaissance mission were met with hostile fires on the island of Jolo, about 950 km south of Manila, a known stronghold of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group, officials said.

Officials said one of the two Philippine military UH1H choppers was hit, but no serious damage to the aircraft or passenger casualties had been reported.

The two choppers, carrying undetermined number of US and Filipino troops, were conducting aerial reconnaissance flight late Tuesday afternoon, when the aircrafts came under fire over Buanza village on Jolo.

Officials said one chopper had bullet holes on its main rotor blade.

No groups claimed responsibility for the attack, but the area is a known stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf group, blamed for the series of terrorism and kidnappings for ransom in the southern Philippines.

Aside from the Abu Sayyaf, renegade members of the former rebel group Moro National Liberation Front are also active on the island and are known to attack Filipino security forces.
Posted by: Dan Darling 2006-03-08