The Philippines says it has no plans to pull its troops out of Iraq earlier than scheduled, as demanded by militants holding a Filipino truck driver hostage.
The Philippine foreign secretary (Delia Albert) told reporters today (Sunday) in Manila, that the country's humanitarian contingent of about 50 troops will stay in Iraq until the planned August 20th withdrawal.
On Saturday, the militants threatened to behead the hostage (Angelo dela Cruz) unless the Philippines makes clear by late today it will pull its troops out by July 20.
Two Bulgarian nationals held captive in Iraq face similar death threats by their kidnappers.
In another development, U.S. military officials say a coalition soldier, an Iraqi civilian and an insurgent were killed today during an attack near Mosul in northern Iraq.
Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.