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Bomb kills soldier, wounds eight others in southern Philippines

AFP , Tuesday 16 Jun 2015
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Suspected Muslim militants in the southern Philippines set off a roadside bomb that killed a soldier and wounded eight others on Tuesday, a military spokesman said.

The troops were on patrol on a military truck in the island of Basilan when the bomb went off, said Ensign Chester Ramos, spokesman of a special anti-terror task force.

The bomb went off after the truck had passed.

"But the shrapnel of the bomb... (hit) our troops aboard the vehicle," said Ramos.

The bomb is believed to have been planted by members of the Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim extremist group founded in the 1990s with seed money from the Al-Qaeda movement of Osama bin Laden, he said.

The Abu Sayyaf is active in Basilan and the other remote, southernmost islands of the Philippines and has been blamed for the worst militant attacks in Philippine history including the 2004 firebombing of a ferry on Manila Bay that claimed more than 100 lives.

It has engaged in mass kidnappings and extortion to raise funds and has proved resilient despite the Philippine military receiving US training to hunt them down.

A key leader of the group posted video footage of himself and other gunmen last year pledging allegiance to Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq.

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