Two soldiers have been shot dead in the restive southern Philippine island of Basilan, officials said on Sunday. The two had bought cigarettes from a store outside their camp in Tipo-tipo town when they were killed by gunmen late Saturday, said military spokeswoman First Lieutenant Steffani Cacho. The soldiers were on the island to help repair damaged schools, she said. Police said they were hunting the suspects but could not yet identify them. Basilan is known as a hotbed of the Abu Sayyaf, an extremist group that intelligence agencies have linked to the Al-Qaeda terror network.