Philippines

Muslim Rebels Capture 300 Hostages in Southern Philippines

Following clash with government forces

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About 200 Muslim rebels held nearly 300 people hostage Monday after clashing with government troops and rampaging through coastal communities in the southern Philippines, leaving at least eight people dead, officials said.

The fighting occurred after troops backed by tanks blocked the Moro National Liberation Front guerrillas — armed with assault rifles and grenade launchers — from marching into Zamboanga city, a major port city, to raise their flag at city hall, military spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said.