Filipino troops re-take most rebel-held villages, rescue nearly 80 hostages
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines (AP) - Philippine troops have re-captured 70 percent of the coastal areas of a southern city that were occupied by Muslim rebels and on Tuesday rescued nearly 80 of more than 100 hostages, as the standoff dragged to its second week.
About 64 hostages were freed or escaped during military operations early Tuesday, the military reported. They were followed by another 14 who walked to freedom in separate batches.
"Our soldiers used selective fire to neutralize the kidnappers," military spokesman Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc said in a statement. He said three soldiers died and 10 were wounded in the latest fighting in Zamboanga city.
Troops and special police forces have killed or arrested more than 100 Moro National Liberation Front rebels who occupied five coastal villages after government forces foiled what officials said was an attempt by the heavily armed insurgents to take control of city hall on Sept 8.