Filipino Pastor Held Hostage By Muslim Rebels

philippines460_794328cMANILA (BosNewsLife) About 200 Muslim rebels were holding a pastor and nearly 300 other people hostage on Monday, September 9, in the southern Philippines following fierce clashes with government forces that left at least eight people dead, officials and a Christian aid group said.

The latest fighting, which also injured several Christians, broke out when troops backed by tanks blocked the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels, who fight for an Islamic state in the region, from marching far into Zamboanga city to raise their flag at city hall, military spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala told reporters.

Earlier, a Philippine navy patrol clashed with the suspected Muslim rebels aboard several boats off southern Zamboanga city, a major port city, which killed one naval special forces member and wounded six others, military officials said.

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