Manila: Two US soldiers and a Filipino marine were killed Tuesday in a landmine explosion on the restive southern Philippine island of Jolo, a spokesman for the Philippines military said.
Two Philippine Marines were also wounded in the blast near a local Marine outpost outside the town of Indanan, said spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Romeo Brawner in Manila. He did not elaborate.
The US embassy said it was looking into the incident but gave no details.
However, police sources in the south said that the landmine explosion came while Philippine soldiers in the area were carrying out operations against local Muslim extremists with ties to the Al-Qaeda network.
Troops in Jolo have been battling members of the Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim group known for carrying out bombing and kidnapping attacks that have often targeted Christians and
The head of military forces in the southern Philippines, Major General Benjamin Dolorfino, confirmed there had been an explosion involving the US troops but gave no details.
Asked if the Americans were involved in combat operations, he said, "No, they were just there to help in building a school."