RealNews

Muslim Rebels Occupy Philippines Village

Suspected Muslim rebels battling against a government crackdown in the southern Philippines occupied a village Thursday and blocked residents from leaving, the military said. Army spokesman Maj. Julieto Ando said about 100 residents of Bual village, near the town of Tulunan on southern Mindanao island, were trapped inside their homes after scores of rebels burst in looking for food. Government troops took positions around the village, and helicopter gunships hovered above, Ando said. The standoff developed as government forces battled Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerrillas in the Pikit area, about 575 miles southeast of the capital of Manila. The military accused the insurgents, who have been waging a separatist insurrection in the country’s impoverished south for three decades, of sheltering members of the notorious kidnap gang Pentagon, which is on a U.S. terrorist list. Full Story

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