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Philippine rebels free kidnapped forest workers

Published on Jun 3, 2014 12:45 AM

MANILA (AFP) - Communist rebels waging a long-running insurgency in the Philippines freed on Monday a group of forestry surveyors they had seized on suspicion of being government spies.

The New People's Army (NPA) rebels said they had abducted the five at a remote mountainous area on the southern island of Mindanao after they were spotted flying drones over the area.

The group had been on its way to study a government forestry programme in the area when they were taken on Friday.

Mr Daniel Ibarra, a spokesman for the local NPA unit, said on Monday the five had been spotted flying drones over guerrilla-controlled territories. He claimed they were engaged in "counter-revolutionary intelligence" gathering.

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