Posted by: Chuck | September 20, 2013

Filipino troops retake most rebel-held villages

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine troops have recaptured 70 percent of the coastal areas of a southern city that were occupied by Muslim rebels and rescued 116 of more than 100 civilians held hostage in a nine-day standoff, the military said Tuesday. About 64 hostages were freed or escaped during military operations early Tuesday, followed by another 14 who walked to freedom in separate batches. That brought to 116 the number of those rescued in the last 18 hours, said military spokesman spoke man Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala. He said more than 100 Moro National Liberation Front rebels were still holding other hostages in the remaining pockets they controlled in five coastal villages in Zamboanga city. The government initially estimated more than 180 people were being held by the rebels, but Zagala said the exact number was unclear. (Source: AP News 9/17/13)



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