Philippine Muslim rebels display human shield tied by rope
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (REUTERS) - Rogue Muslim rebels seeking to declare an independent state put a dozen civilians tied together by rope on display as a human shield on Wednesday as a standoff with security forces in a southern Philippine city entered its third day.
Waving white flags, the hostages shouted "please don't shoot" at soldiers as rebel snipers perched on roof of a residential block fired at the troops about 500m away in the Santa Barbara district of Zamboanga, a key port on the southern island of Mindanao.
In another part of the city, three wounded rebels were arrested after exchanging gunfire with police manning a road block to stop the rebels, a breakaway faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), from occupying other districts of the city.
Four decades of conflict in the south have killed 120,000 people, displaced two million and stunted growth in the poor but resource-rich area of the mainly Roman Catholic country.