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Marine who died in Basilan a casualty of war–official

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 13:46:00 08/13/2008

MANILA, Philippines — A Marine soldier who was fatally wounded in an encounter with Moro rebels in Basilan province last Monday did not die due to alleged neglect, a military official said.

“There were no lapses. In an armed conflict, unfortunately, there will be casualties. One of our soldiers was fatally hit in the head. I don’t think it is a matter of finger-pointing,” Brigadier General Jorge Segovia, acting chief of the Armed Forces command center, said Wednesday.

By the account of a television reporter to the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of, Corporal Angelo Abeto bled for four hours as he waited for a helicopter to airlift him from the battle zone in Tipo-Tipo town.

Abeto was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital in Zamboanga City. A helicopter contracted by the United States brought him there.

“Our helicopters were available but the weather didn’t allow it,” Segovia said, as he clarified that the helicopter used to airlift Abeto was not a US aircraft.

Segovia also said that Abeto did not bleed to death, but rather succumbed to the fatal head wounds he sustained from a mortar explosion.

On Monday, suspected MILF rebels seized the Tipo-Tipo town proper, occupying government and school buildings and burning houses. Aside from Abeto, two civilians and 15 rebels were also killed.

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Written by joelguinto

WedUTC2008-08-13T16:17:17+00:00UTC08bUTCWed, 13 Aug 2008 16:17:17 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm08

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