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US Military Aircraft Hit During Training in Philippines


A U.S. military plane has been hit by gunfire in a remote area of the northern Philippines. No one was injured. But the incident coincides with a controversial joint U.S.-Philippine anti-terror operation in the south of the country.

A Pentagon spokesman says the MC-130 aircraft was flying a training mission over a mountainous portion of Luzon Island when it was struck by at least two bullets. One came up through the floor of the plane near a crewman. But no one was injured.

The Pentagon says U.S. defense officials are working with Philippine authorities to investigate the incident, which occurred while the aircraft was taking part in an annual joint Special Operations exercise code-named "Balance Piston."

That exercise is separate from the operation now under way in the southern Philippines in which U.S. troops are advising Philippine forces in a major anti-terrorist sweep. The operation is aimed at Muslim rebels suspected of links with the al-Qaida terrorist network.

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