RealNews

Villagers Released in Philippines

Muslim rebels resisting a major government assault in the southern Philippines abducted then released scores of villagers Thursday as the military kept up fierce attacks that have reportedly left more than 100 dead on both sides. The offensive against a notorious kidnap group and Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerrillas, accused of haboring the criminals, was quickly spreading from the rebels’ stronghold in a vast marshland area to neighboring provinces on southern Mindanao island. Army Col. Agustin Dima-Ala said about 100 MILF guerrillas attacked an army detachment in the village of Tinumiges in Lambayong town in Sultan Kudarat province, near the Pikit marshland, and abducted 25 residents. The rebels later withdrew and released the villagers one by one, he said. The fighting left 35 rebels, four pro-government militiamen and three civilians dead, he said. MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu said 12 rebels were killed. Full Story

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