Two people were killed when some rebels seized a bus in a town in North Cotabato in the southern Philippines on Monday morning.
A band of suspected Moro Islamic Liberation front (MILF) rebels hijacked a passenger bus to Davao in a village in Pikit and robbed the passengers, the ABS-CBN news channel reported.
The victims include an army soldier in civilian attire who was discovered among the passengers and a 19-year-old civilian volunteer.
Earlier television report said 31 armed rebels commandeered the bus with about 24 passengers at 5:30 a.m. (local time) Monday, confiscated the passengers' IDs and later held passengers hostage.The passengers were released three hours later.
"This is a MILF group," Governor Emmanuel Pinol of Cotabato Province asserted. "This is apparently part of their campaign to prevent evacuees from returning to their homes."
He said he has asked the military to take action to recover thebus.
"This incident proves that the MILF is a terrorist organization victimizing civilians," Pinol said.
Founded in 1978, the 12,000-strong MILF has been fighting for an independent Islamic state in the southern Philippines.