THUR-FRI-SAT-SUN
May 4-7, 2000
volume 11, no. 87
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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.

FOUR PHILIPPINE HOSTAGES DIE, OTHERS RESCUED FROM REBELS

    MANILA (CWNews.com) - Four hostages were killed fifteen others were rescued when Philippine soldiers discovered the Muslim rebel captors moving them in the southern province of Basilan on Monday.

    Among the dead were Claretian Father Ruel Gallardo, two female teachers, and a male teacher, officials said. A priest who anointed the bodies said they appeared to have been shot at close range and hacked with large knives.

    Military spokesmen said the soldiers stumbled upon the Abu Sayyaf rebels and their captives as they crossed a jungle stream. The soldiers screamed at the hostages to get down and opened fire. Fifteen other hostages of the 27 still held captive were rescued. At least one other adult had been held, in addition to the 22 children kidnapped from two Catholic schools in March. Five of the fifteen rescued hostages were wounded, at least one seriously, the spokesman said.

    The Muslim guerillas have been fighting to establish a separate Muslim homeland in the south of the mainly Catholic country. They took over 70 hostages in March to use as human shields, but released most immediately. During Holy Week, they beheaded two male teachers as a "birthday present" for President Joseph Estrada, a move that ignited the military response. Soldiers overran the rebels' mountain stronghold on Saturday, but did not find the captives. The rescued hostages said they were taken from the camp on Saturday and forced to walk each night through forest trails.

    Meanwhile, soldiers continued to fight another Abu Sayyaf group in the southern Philippines who kidnapped 21 people, including 10 foreign tourists, from a nearby Malaysian island last week. And another rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, claimed responsibility for several bomb explosions in the southern Philippines that killed at least 10 people and injured dozens.

          

May 4-7, 2000
volume 11, no. 87
NEWS & VIEWS

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