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Evangelists Escape from Philippine Muslim Rebels

Two out of four Filipina women held by Muslim rebels for nearly eight months escaped on Saturday as the guerrillas slept, worn down by relentless army pursuit, President Glorial Macapagal Arroyo said. The four women evangelists from the Jehovah’s Witnesses were seized by Abu Sayyaf guerrillas along with two male preachers in August 2002. The two men were beheaded and the two other female evangelists remain in the hands of the rebels. “The confusion in the enemy camp enabled the two women to abscond,” Arroyo told a news conference in northern Baguio city. “Day by day we are nearing the dawn of stability and peace in Sulu. There’s no turning back. The terrorists are nearing the end of the road and the hopes of the people of the Sulu will soon be redeemed,” Arroyo said in the news conference, carried live on local radio. The women were being held in the interior of the rugged Jolo island, the biggest among the Sulu group of islands which stretch between the Philippines and Borneo. Full Story

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