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Philippine military vow to capture rebels responsible for beheading soldiers
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08:00, July 16, 2007

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Philippine military said on Sunday they would capture the rebels responsible for the beheading of 10 soldiers in Mindanao last week no matter what group they belong to.

Philippine Marine Commander Maj. Gen. Nelson Allaga told local media that he believed the rebels who ambushed a Marine group and killing 14 of them -- 10 of them beheaded -- in Basilan, some 900 kilometers south of Manila, were a "mixture of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels, Abu Sayyaf and lawless elements."

"We will target them and conduct police action, we will arrest them," he said. "As of now, it's the MILF, Abu Sayyaf and lawless elements in the grouping. "

Allaga also asked local television network ABS-CBN to provide the military with a photograph of the rebels who were posed with the firearms they seized from the Marine soldiers after last Tuesday's attack in Basilan.

"The orders given to us is we go after the perpetrators. Those on the ground, they are going after the perpetrators," the Marine chief said.

Peace negotiations between the government and the MILF hit an impasse last year on the issue of ancestral domain although negotiators from both sides said the Malaysia-mediated talks would soon resume.

The military said the soldiers were killed when they were looking for an Italian priest kidnapped by gunmen in Mindanao one month ago.

Allaga also said he has instructed the Marine soldiers involved in the pursuit operations not to retaliate against the perpetrators by also beheading them, saying beheading is a " disrespect to the human dignity."

Source: Xinhua

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