Rebels mov­ing to­ward peace

Los Angeles Times - - THE WORLD -

The largest Mus­lim rebel group in the Philip­pines handed over dozens of weapons in a sym­bolic ges­ture to re­in­force a peace pact stalled by a public out­cry over the killings this year of dozens of po­lice com­man­dos in a fierce bat­tle with in­sur­gents.

Pres­i­dent Benigno Aquino III and Al Haj Mu­rad Ebrahim, the leader of the Moro Is­lamic Lib­er­a­tion Front, watched the sur­ren­der of 75 as­sault weapons, in­clud­ing mor­tar and rocket launch­ers, by the guer­ril­las near a rebel strong­hold, along with the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of a first batch of 145 guer­ril­las, who agreed to re­turn to civil life with prom­ises of gov­ern­ment sup­port.

The au­ton­omy deal was signed by the gov­ern­ment and the rebels last year af­ter years-long talks bro­kered by Malaysia.

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