Tribal gunmen seized 16 people updated



Philippine authorities negotiating with tribal gunmen holding a dozen hostages said Tuesday the suspects' poor education was hampering delicate talks about resolving the four-day-old crisis.
Five gunmen from the forest-dwelling Manobo tribe seized 15 teachers and children on the southern island of Mindanao on Saturday in a bid to get the government to free a jailed relative.
The grade-school dropouts have since freed three hostages but the government now needs a negotiator who can explain the law to them, said police Senior Superintendent Nestor Fajura, spokesman for the negotiating team.

Tribal gunmen seized 16 people in the southern Philippines in a bid to free fellow tribesmen detained at a provincial jail, a provincial police chief said Saturday.
The victims were seized late Friday in Prosperidad town in Agusan del Sur province, 840 kilometres south of Manila, according to Senior Superintendent Jerome Baxinela.
update

Gunmen in the restive southern Philippines on Friday threatened to hurt their hostages, who are teachers they seized from a public school, if troops attempt to carry out rescue operations, an official said yesterday.
Alvin Magdamit, mayor of Prosperidad in Agusan del Sur province, said the leaders of the gunmen phoned them and asked for the release of their leader Ondo Perez before they free the 14 teachers.
"The conditions of teachers are okay. They are asking for food," Magdamit said,
At the same time, Magdamit said 14 teachers were held as hostage instead of 16 in the previous statement.

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