Gunmen Seize at Least 75 Hostages in Philippines
Gunmen Seize at Least 75 Hostages in Philippines

The Philippine military says gunmen have seized at least 75 people, most of them schoolchildren, after a raid on a remote elementary school in the southern Philippines.

Military officials say the gunmen abducted the residents of a village on Mindanao island on Thursday.

Police said 15 of the children were later released.

The southern Philippines is plagued by banditry, loosely supervised government-armed militias, and Muslim and communist insurgents.

Officials say police are pursuing the gunmen who appear to be using the hostages as human shields to escape.

Last month, 57 people in an election convoy were massacred in southern Maguindanao province. The province has since been placed under martial law.

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