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Philippines Strikes Truce with Muslim Rebels

Officials in the Philippines say Muslim separatists in the southern part of the country have pledged not to attack U.S. troops when they hold an exercise on the island of Jolo next month.

In a personal message, Muslim rebel leader Nur Misuari - who has been in detention for four years - ordered his followers to stay in their camps and avoid what he called "untoward" incidents while the American troops are in the region.

Local military commander Brigadier-General Mohammad Ben Dolorfino delivered the letter Friday to Habier Malik, spiritual leader of Misuari's followers.

Misuari issued the directive after meeting with government officials in his cell south of Manila earlier in the week.

The United States has been sending small units of military advisers to the Philippines to provide humanitarian assistance and counter-terrorism training to Filipino troops.

Some information for this story provided by Reuters and AFP.