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Suspected Militants Kill 11 in Southern Philippines


Suspected al-Qaida-linked militants have raided a village in the southern Philippines, killing at least 11 people.

Military officials say Abu Sayyaf gunmen, backed by renegade Muslim separatists, attacked a civilian militia detachment early Saturday in the village of Tubigan, Basilan province, on Mindanao island.

Local officials said the villagers were asleep when about 70 attackers began spraying houses with automatic gunfire. They also set houses on fire.

Ten civilians were killed, including a one-year-old girl. A member of the local militia also was killed. At least 17 people, including four children, were wounded by gunfire and blazes before the attackers fled.

Authorities say troops are searching for the culprits. They say the attack took place hours after a rescue operation freed two Chinese hostages held by Abu Sayyaf since November.

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

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