MANILA- Muslim rebels took 30 civilian hostages in the southern Philippines on Monday and held security forces in a standoff as part of a drive to derail peace talks, officials said.
Police commandos cordoned off parts of Zamboanga City on the island of Mindanao after a rogue faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) took hostages and tried to march to the city hall to raise their flag, an army commander said.
"They want to hoist their flag, we will not allow that," Colonel Andrelino Colina told a local radio station, saying dozens of armed MNLF landed in two coastal villages at dawn and clashed with security forces.
Three people were killed and 10 wounded as the rebels forced their way to the city center.
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