Philippine military officials say at least seven people have been
killed this week and nine others wounded in a series of rebel attacks
on the southern island of Mindanao.
A military spokesman says
Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels attacked two villages on Tuesday
and Wednesday, and used rocket propelled grenades and assault rifles to
attack military outposts.
Officials say all of the victims were civilians and report no military casualties.
Thursday, soldiers say they defused a homemade bomb packed with nails
on a bridge in Mindanao's Maguindanao province. It is believed that the
bomb was intended to hit a military convoy.
MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu denied there was an attack and accused the military of trying to provoke the separatist group.
Peace talks between the Philippine government and the MILF broke down in August.
Also Thursday, authorities in the southern Philippines say a teenager abducted
more than two months ago by Muslim rebels has been freed by his captors.
Pilangga was released unharmed late Wednesday in the town of Al-Barka,
located on the island of Basilan. The 17-year-old nursing student was
abducted on October 17 in the city of Zamboanga and taken to Basilan.
say Pilangga was freed after negotiations between the rebels and
provincial Vice-Governor Al-Rahsheed Sakalahul. His family also paid a
ransom, but amount was not disclosed.
The kidnappers are believed to be members of Abu Sayyaf, an Islamic rebel group believed to have ties with al-Qaida.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.