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Fisherman dead as boat bumped by U.S. speedboat in S. Philippines

(Xinhua)

14:27, April 20, 2012

MANILA, April 20 (Xinhua) -- A Filipino fisherman died while his son was injured when their fishing boat was rammed by a U.S. speedboat off Hadji Mutamad town in Basilan Wednesday night, a military commander said on Friday.

Col. Ricardo Visaya, commander of the Army's 104th Brigade and Joint Task Force Basilan, said the U.S. soldiers aboard the Mark V speedboat were on their way back to Zamboanga City when they rammed the lightless small fishing boat at about 7 p.m.

Asked if the Americans admitted that they were at fault, Visaya said: "You can't say that they were at fault because it was dark. Although they have navigation equipment, the small boat suddenly appeared so you cannot really see it."

Visaya named the killed fisherman as Ahbam Juhurin. He said his unnamed son, aged between 20 to 25, is currently being treated at a military hospital in Zamboanga City.

A number of U.S. troops are in Mindanao to train Filipino forces in fighting the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf Sayyaf, which has linkages with the al-Qaeda terrorist network. The Americans are also providing intelligence information to Filipino troops.

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