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Philippine troops clash with hostage kidnappers

"Intense clashes have broken out between Philippine troops and Muslim rebels holding three Red Cross officers hostage, killing up to three soldiers and six guerrillas, officials said.
At least 19 soldiers were wounded, but there was no word on the fate of the hostages, who have been held on the remote southern island of Jolo for more than two months, they said.
The hostages - Swiss national Andreas Notter, Italian Eugenio Vagni and Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba - were abducted on January 15 after visiting a prison on Jolo.
Military spokesman Brigadier-General Gaudencio Pangilinan told reporters that the fighting near Indanan town on Jolo was not an attempt to rescue the hostages.
He said the fighting started when the kidnappers tried to break out of the military cordon around the area." (2009,


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