MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine military says troops have taken custody of at least 45 more Muslim rebels — all exhausted and low on ammunition — as a guerrilla siege that has dragged for three weeks in a southern city continued to crumble.
Military spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said Thursday that troops needed to clear coastal communities in Zamboanga city "to the last rebel" from the Moro National Liberation Front before they can declare the Sept. 9 siege over.
Zagala said the 45 rebels surrendered or were captured in clashes that left three gunmen dead.
More than 300 rebels, angry over the failure of a 1996 peace pact, stormed communities and took scores of residents hostage after troops foiled their attempt to take over Zamboanga's city hall.
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