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Kidnapping a 'cottage industry' in Philippines

"MANILA (AFP) – A top aide to President Gloria Arroyo said Sunday kidnapping has become a "cottage industry" in the southern Philippines, where decades of rebellion have stunted social and economic development.
Red Cross staff from Belgium and Sweden and a peace activist fromSri Lanka are among nearly a dozen people now held hostage by Islamic militants and other groups in the Mindanao region, home to the mainly Roman Catholic nation's large Muslim minority.
Three women teachers were snatched by gunmen in the Moro Gulf late Friday, while the daughter of a senior communist guerrilla leader was last week abducted, raped and murdered near the city of Davao." (2009,


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