Filipino troops kill 7 rebels after hostage crisis
MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Philippine troops killed seven more Muslim rebels in gunbattles in the coastal outskirts of a southern city they were clearing of bodies, bombs, weapons and possible booby traps following a three-week standoff with insurgents who held scores of people hostage, officials said on Sunday.
Army troops and special police forces killed six Moro National Liberation Front rebels who were hiding in a house in Zamboanga city's Santa Barbara community on Sunday and refused to surrender. Another rebel was slain by troops in a clash on Saturday in nearby Rio Hondo, one of five communities occupied by nearly 500 insurgents on Sept 9, military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala said.
Troops recovered seven assault rifles and a grenade launcher used by the slain rebels, he said.
"Definitely the worst is over," Lt-Col Zagala told reporters, but added that it would be dangerous for residents to return until government forces have finished a two-week inspection of the battered communities.