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Philippine gov't denies U.S. troops conduct air strikes

(Xinhua)

09:59, February 13, 2012

MANILA, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government denied on Sunday that the American troops were the ones who conducted air stikes in southern province of Sulu recently where suspected terrorists were killed.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said that contrary to the accusation of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the Filipino soldiers were those involved in the air attacks, which resulted in the death of 15 suspected terrorists, including Abu Sayyaf leader Gumbahali Jumdail, alias Dr. Abu; and Jemaah Islamiyah operatives Zulkipli Bin Abdul Hir, alias Marwan and Ibrahim; and Muhamda Ali, alias Muawiya.

"That's propaganda only. There's no truth on their (CPP's) statement that the U.S. troops conducted the air attacks in Mindanao," she said in an interview over a state-run radio station.

In a statement, the CPP has asked for an independent investigation into U.S. alleged involvement in the Jolo bombings.

All the information has come from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which has been known to "issue distorted and self- serving statements," the CPP said.

"There should be an independent investigation to look into the involvement of American soldiers belonging to the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) in the planning, provision of intelligence and surveillance information, actual execution and logistical support to the military operation leading to the air raids," it said.

The CPP said that such involvement of U.S. troops violated the Philippine national sovereignty.

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