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46 Rebels Surrender in Philippines

November 19, 2000|Associated Press

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — Dozens of Muslim guerrillas from two groups surrendered to authorities as government forces pressed offensives against rebels in the southern Philippines, authorities said.

Police said 25 members of the extremist Abu Sayyaf group gave up Saturday on Jolo island, where the rebels are holding an American and a Filipino hostage.

Police were still trying to rescue Jeffrey Schilling, a Muslim convert from Oakland, and Filipino Roland Ulla, said Candido Casimiro, the police chief in Sulu province.

Schilling, 24, and Ulla were among 19 hostages held captive by Abu Sayyaf when authorities began rescue efforts in mid-September. The other 17 have escaped or been rescued.

On Friday, 21 guerrillas from another Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, surrendered to the military in Basilan province and in the city of Marawi on Mindanao island, the armed forces' Southern Command said.

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