FBI agents to train soldiers and policemen in Philipines
(dpa) - Agents of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are training Filipino soldiers and policemen on counter-terrorism for six months on a southern Philippine island, a police provincial chief said Wednesday.
Senior Superintendent Julasirim Kasim said 35 policemen and soldiers assigned on Jolo island, 1,000 kilometres south of Manila, are participating in the training, which will focus on intelligence gathering.
Julasirim said the training held in an army headquarters in the outskirt of Jolo, a known lair of al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf rebels who are also believed to be hiding two wanted Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) militants.
For the past six years, Washington has been helping the Philippine government in the fight against Islamic militants in the southern region of Mindanao, providing training and logistical support.
The FBI training was announced as the Philippine and US militaries waited for the results of DNA tests on a body recovered in a town on Jolo in mid-February that is suspected to be the cadaver of JI militant Dulmatin.
Dulmatin and another JI militant, Umar Patek, are wanted for their key role in the 2000 nightclub bombings on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, which killed more than 200 people, mostly Australian tourists..