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Priest among hostages taken by Muslim rebels in the Philippines

Catholic World News - September 13, 2013

Members of the Moro National Liberation Front, a Muslim rebel group, attempted unsuccessfully to take over a government building in Zamboanga City, the Philippines’ sixth largest, according to CNN.

Among the 160 to 180 hostages taken by the group is Father Michael Ofana, the Fides news agency reported.

“Muslims and Christians today are united in this difficult moment for Zamboanga,” said Father Sebastiano D’Ambra, a priest involved in interreligious dialogue. “This is not a religious war.”

The priest told Fides that the rebel group “felt excluded from the peace talks between the government and the other rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.”

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