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Two U.S. service members killed in the Philippines

  • Story Highlights
  • The troops were getting supplies for a school in Jolo island
  • Authorities are investigating
  • Several Islamic militant groups are active in the region
  • The groups want to create a separate state for the minority Muslim population
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(CNN) -- Two U.S. service members were killed in the Philippines when their vehicle rolled over a landmine Tuesday morning, military officials said.

The service members with the Joint Special Operations Task Force were getting supplies for a school on the island of Jolo when their vehicle struck the explosive, said U.S. Navy Capt. Jeff Breslau.

Authorities were investigating the incident, Breslau said.

Jolo is one of many islands in the Southeast Asian nation.

Several Islamic militant groups, some of which have ties to al Qaeda, are active in the region and want to establish a separate state for the country's minority Muslim population, according to the U.S. State Department. Among them is Abu Sayyaf.

The government has been fighting to contain the group, which is blamed for several terror attacks in the country, including the bombing of a ferry in 2004 that left about 130 people dead.

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