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US, PH hold naval patrol in Sulu to deter Islamists

The United States and Philippine Navies yesterday held a joint naval patrol in the Sulu Sea amid rising international concern about Islamist militancy and piracy in the area.

Tropical depression “Marce’’ (international name: “Tokage)” dumped heavy rains and stranded thousands in the Visayas and parts of Luzon yesterday.

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The Armed Forces of the Philippines yesterday confirmed the abduction of seven Indonesian sailors in the waters off the Sulu Sea.

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Seven Indonesian sailors have been taken hostage in the Sulu Sea in the southern Philippines, Indonesia’s foreign minister said yesterday, the latest in a string of abductions in the waters between the two Southeast Asian neighbors.

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THE American, Philippine, and Malaysian navies begin today a training exercise in the Sulu Sea as part of the US Pacific Fleet’s Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) program. The program was begun in 1995 to promote cooperation and interoperability between US forces and other participating nations, with the goal of bolstering security and stability in the region. Participating ships and aircraft from the three nations will conduct communication drills, maritime security coordination, and maritime domain awareness training.

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