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U.S. ends anti-terror program in Philippines

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After more than a decade of helping fight Islamic militants, the United States is disbanding an anti-terror contingent of hundreds of elite American troops in the southern Philippines where armed groups such as Abu Sayyaf have largely been crippled, officials said Thursday.

But special forces from the U.S. Pacific Command, possibly in smaller numbers, will remain after the deactivation of the Joint Special Operations Task Force Philippines (JSOTF-P), to ensure al-Qaida offshoots such as Abu Sayyaf and the Indonesia-based Jemaah Islamiyah do not regain lost ground, according to U.S. and Philippine officials.

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