%mlink(STRY:; PHOTO:ZAM105-060602; AUDIO:%)

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines (AP) _ One U.S. hostage died and another was wounded but rescued Friday when Philippine troops launched a strike on their Muslim extremist kidnappers in a southern fishing village, military officials said.

Martin Burnham, kidnapped more than a year ago along with his wife Gracia by the Abu Sayyaf group, was shot and killed during the operation in the town of Siraway, said Gen. Roy Cimatu, the Philippine military chief of staff.

His wife was being treated in a military hospital. The extent of her injuries was unclear.

Philippine officers said hundreds of elite troops equipped with night vision goggles and backed by U.S. surveillance technology launched the attack to try to rescue the Wichita, Kan., missionaries Friday as part of an extended search that has been going on for almost two weeks.

The Philippine military said intelligence showed that members of the Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim rebel group infamous for beheading hostages, were holed up with at least one of the Burnhams in the fishing village in the southern province of Zamboanga del Norte.

The Light Reaction Company, a stealthy U.S.-trained unit equipped with silencers, night vision equipment and high-tech headsets, fanned out secretly throughout the area of coconut groves and farms in recent days after solid indications that at least one of the Burnhams was held near there.

The Burnhams were kidnapped May 27, 2001 by members of the Abu Sayyaf, which says it is fighting to carve a Muslim state out of the southern Philippines.

The guerrillas kidnapped 18 other people along with the Burnhams, including 17 Filipinos and Corona, Calif., resident Guillermo Sobero.

Sobero was beheaded by the guerrillas in June 2001, according to U.S. and Filipino officials.

The Muslim fighters are thought to number only 60 or so from an original force of 1,000 after a year of army offensives.