Philippine journalists wounded in suspected militant attack

Suspected militants fired at two low-flying military helicopters in Basilan province in the southern Philippines on August 16, 2009, injuring two journalists who were on board, according to local and international reports. The militants were thought to belong to the Abu Sayyaf Group, which is allegedly linked to Al-Qaida.

The journalists worked for the state-owned television National Broadcasting Network. They suffered splinter wounds but were not seriously injured, according to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines. A photographer employed by the Office of the Press Secretary also suffered injuries, the union said. The journalists were briefly treated at a hospital after being hit by metal debris, The Associated Press reported.

The news team was on its way back to Zamboanga City after covering a flag-raising ceremony in an Abu Sayyaf camp and were flying low due to bad weather when militants opened fire. The helicopter pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in a village in Lamitan municipality, according to the union.