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Philippine President Committed to Peace With Rebels


The Philippine president says her government is committed to peace talks with a Muslim rebel group that is under investigation for the beheading of 10 marines.

Gloria Arroyo Saturday said the government is still willing to work with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, or MILF, but that only "principled warriors" are welcome at the negotiating table.

Earlier this week, 14 marines were killed in a clash with MILF rebels on the southern island of Basilan. Ten of the marines were later beheaded.

The government says the marines were ambushed by hundreds of MILF rebels who joined forces with Abu Sayyaf militants.

The MILF rebels say they did not behead the marines or cooperate with Abu Sayyaf. They say they shot at the marines in self defense after their camp was invaded.

The MILF is conducting its own investigation into the violence.

The marines were in the area searching for an Italian priest who was kidnapped by militants last month.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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