TUESDAY
April 25, 2000
volume 11, no. 81
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

PHILIPPINE ARMY ATTACKS HOSTAGE-HOLDING REBELS
Government's response to rebels' beheading of two male teachers

    MANILA (CWNews.com) - The Philippine army attacked extremist Muslim rebels in the southern Philippines on Monday, fighting to free 27 hostages taken from Catholic schools in the area last month.

    The government forces were less than a quarter mile from three outlying camps of the Abu Sayyaf separatist rebels that were targeted by artillery attacks, said Maj. Gen. Diomedio Villanueva, chief of the military's Southern Command. The hostages are believed to be kept at the main compound further up the steep, forested mountain where they have been held.

    The Abu Sayyaf rebels kidnapped more than 70 children, teachers, and a Claretian missionary priest last month as part of their efforts to establish a separate Muslim homeland in the mainly Catholic country. Most of the hostages were released in the first few days, but the rebels beheaded two male teachers last Wednesday as a "birthday present" for President Joseph Estrada.

    The rebels have warned they will behead their five remaining adult male hostages -- including the priest -- if the military does not halt its assault. "This is a hostage situation and we're considering the safety of the hostages to give them the best chance to survive," Villanueva said.

          

April 25, 2000
volume 11, no. 81
NEWS & VIEWS

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