Military plans next deployment to Philippines

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

MANILA, Philippines -- The U.S. will start a series of training exercises in October for Philippine troops that will mean an American military presence in the country for at least eight months running, officials said Tuesday.

The exercises will follow a six-month counterterrorism training maneuver designed to help the Philippine military wipe out the al-Qaida-linked Muslim extremist Abu Sayyaf group.

Armed forces Chief of Staff Gen. Roy Cimatu said a total of around 4,000 soldiers from both sides will take part in the new exercises.

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