ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 28, 2007) – A US soldier training Filipino troops in anti-terrorism warfare was found dead after diving in a lake in the southern province of Sulu.
The soldier, whose identity was not made public, was missing since Friday after he and several other soldiers went diving in Seit Lake in Panamao town. His body was found the next day after a massive search in the lake by US and Filipino soldiers.
US military officials did not give any statement and ignored calls from journalists.
Police has confirmed the death of the US soldier, but officials did not release the name of the victim.
The cause of the death remains unclear and it was unknown whether the soldier drowned or had a heart attack or was attacked by rebels.
Hundreds of US soldiers under the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines are deployed in Sulu province and training local soldiers in various military tactics.
In February, a US Marine, Cpl. Timothy Lewis, suffered a heat stroke and eventually died from cardiac arrest in Sulu. It was the first reported death of a US soldier participating in this year’s joint military drill.
Lewis was part of a contingent from the Okinawa-based 3rd Marine Expeditionary Forces.
In February 2002, a US MH-47 Chinook helicopter with eight American crew and two soldiers on board crashed during a night flight in Bohol Strait in central Philippines. There were no survivors. The American troops were taking part in a joint military training with Filipino soldiers.
The helicopter was on a routine transit from the southern island of Basilan to the island of Mactan where the U.S. maintains a logistics air base.
In October of the same year, a US soldier was also killed after an Abu Sayyaf bomb exploded on a roadside restaurant outside a Philippine Army base in Malagutay village in Zamboanga City. (Mindanao Examiner)