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Philippine Rebels: Peace Pact "Best Antidote" for Extremism

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, center, holds the draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) together with, from left, Secretary Jesus Dureza, government Peace Panel chief negotiator, Al-Hajj Murad, chair of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Ghazal

A leader of the Philippines' largest Muslim rebel group says a peace accord it's trying to implement with the government is "the best antidote" for violent extremism exemplified by a bloody siege of southern Marawi city by Islamic State group-aligned militants.

Government and rebel representatives submitted draft legislation to President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday aimed at establishing a more powerful and better-funded Muslim autonomous region in the country's south under a 2014 peace deal signed by the two sides.

Moro Islamic Liberation Front Vice Chairman Ghazali Jaafar said the proposed law "is the best antidote to violent extremism that has wrought havoc" in many Muslim areas.

Officials say more than 550 people, including 411 militants, have been killed in nearly two months of fighting in Marawi.