Nine killed in Philippine Muslim rebel raid

Nine civilians were hacked and shot to death as Muslim rebels raided several southern townships, a funeral parlor in the southern Philippines said Monday. Michael Enat, manager of Cosmopolitan funeral homes in Iligan city, said the bodies had slashes and bullet wounds. He said the army brought the victims from the nearby township of Kauswagan, where the military launched an offensive Monday to flush out some 300 Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerrillas. Earlier, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo told the rebels to withdraw immediately or they will be crushed. A rebel spokesman blamed renegade forces for the attack amid uncertainty over a fragile peace process.