Gunmen free 10 villagers in southern Philippines

November 30, 2010 15:21


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MANILA, Philippines — Gunmen have released 10 of 12 villagers they abducted in a remote southern Philippine town in a clan feud over land.

The villagers were returning from a fishing trip Saturday on volatile Basilan Island, where al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf militants are active, when they were taken at gunpoint to the nearby town of Al Barka, said regional police chief Ben Latag.A local crisis committee was established to deal with the kidnappers.

A local official says the abductors and two of the victims belong to the same clan. The gunmen are demanding a share of their ancestors' land.

Ten of the victims who are just neighbors of the abductors' rival relatives were released late Tuesday and have returned to their homes in Ungkaya Pukan township.

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