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Philippine general take leave at height of hostage crisis

"MANILA, March 23 (Xinhua) -- A top Philippine army general in charge of military operations to free three kidnapped international aid workers took a leave on Monday after a recent military raid into the rebels' lair failed to reach the hostages.
Maj. Gen. Juancho Sabban, commander of the military's Joint Task Force Comet, will attend a Colombian seminar on counter-insurgency and his leave will last two weeks, Navy spokesman and the hostage crisis spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo announced Monday.
Arevalo said Col. Eugene Clemen, commander of the 3rd Marine Brigade - one of the two Marine brigades under the operational control of the JTF Comet, will be the acting commander of the taskforce during the absence of Sabban." (2009,


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