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The World

December 21, 1987

The Philippine military dropped leaflets over islands in the southern Philippines urging Muslim pirates to surrender after killing 20 of them in three days of air, sea and ground assault, officers said. Maj. Gen. Cesar Tapia, the southern commander, said three soldiers died and two paramilitary fighters were wounded in a fierce battle Friday with about 50 bandits believed linked to Muslim secessionists. A spokesman for the rebels, Mustaj Zain Jali of the separatist Moro National Liberation Front, told reporters that 15 civilians were killed in a government assault on 11 small islands near Zamboanga, 550 miles south of Manila.

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