ZAMBOANGA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine officials say nearly 100 Muslim guerrillas, who have held scores of people hostage for a week in the south, have been killed or captured in a push by government troops to retake rebel-held coastal communities.
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and other officials say government forces pressed the assault Sunday but were trying to avoid harming an unspecified number of hostages still held by Moro National Liberation Front insurgents in the coastal outskirts of Zamboanga city.
Officials say at least 51 rebels have been killed and 42 others captured. Six policemen and soldiers, along with four villagers, have also been killed.
Military spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala says government forces have recaptured some rebel-held ground and are fighting their way into communities still held by more than 100 insurgents.
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