Philippine Terrorism

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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American troops are ending their mission in the Philippines.

Their six-month counter terrorism training exercise has helped the Philippine army weaken the Abu Sayyaf rebels. But the war against the al Qaida linked extremists is far from finished.

An Abu Sayyaf kidnapping spree is over, and the group has been decimated by clashes, arrests and surrenders.

Still, hopes for a clean victory vanished in a rescue attempt June seventh by U.S. trained Philippine soldiers. Three hostages were killed, including missionary Martin Burnham of Wichita, Kansas. His wife, Gracia, got out alive.

The U.S. mission ends Wednesday, but planning for further training operations is in the works as Washington seeks to bolster its former colony.

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