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American woman found dead in Philippines

ANGELES, Philippines -- An American woman was found dead from stab wounds in a pickup truck outside the U.S. Clark Air Base Tuesday and officials ruled out a political motive.

A statement by the base's public affairs office identified the victim as Julie Snodgrass.

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Clark spokesman Capt. Kim Urie declined to disclose other details of the victim, citing U.S. privacy laws.

Snodgrass was found in her red Chevrolet pickup at 6:30 a.m. on a dirt road outside the designated liberty area in Angeles city, 50 miles north of Manila, where the air base is located.

Authorities are investigating the death but the Clark statement said 'preliminary findings indicated it was not politically motivated.'

Police Lt. Col. Julius Yarcia said an early morning jogger found Snodgrass and informed police. Yarcia said he had no other details and no arrest had been made.

Yarcia said Snodgrass was the wife of a U.S. serviceman assigned to the office of special investigation.

U.S. officials last week lifted travel restrictions for servicemen assigned at Clark clamped during talks earlier in the month on the future of six U.S. facilities in the Philippines whose lease is expiring in September.

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However, a 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. curfew remained in effect for the servicemen.

At least 10 Americans have been killed since October 1987 in incidents blamed on the New Peoples Army, the armed partisan of the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines.

The 17,000-member NPA has been battling the Manila government for 22 years.

Meanwhile, police said the Rev. Alejandrino Abing, 30, was shot and killed Tuesday while the Roman Catholic priest was waiting for a bus ride in the central city of Cebu.

Police said four unidentified men approached Abing, tried to force him to board their car and shot him at point blank range seven times when he refused.

Abing was visiting Ceity of Davao, where he was reported active among cause- oriented groups.

Police ruled out robbery as a motive and an investigation was being conducted.

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