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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Philippines Muslim Rebels Hand over Guns in Peace Deal


7Dnews London

Sat, 07 Sep 2019 12:31 GMT

At least a thousand Muslim guerrillas in the south of the mainly Catholic Philippines handed over 940 weapons in a single day, in a process that aims to turn the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the country's largest rebel force, into a regular political party, according to AFP.

The measure, taken on Saturday, represents a symbolic first step towards dismantling what Moro says is a force of 40,000 fighters in the coming years. 

Paisal Abdullah Bagundang, 56, a self-described veteran since the 1970s, said, "The war is over ... I have no firearms left."  

But the disarmament process requires time to have an impact in a place where violence is an almost daily occurrence. 

Early on Saturday, a bomb hidden in a parked motorcycle exploded near a public market in Isulan town, hours before President Rodrigo Duterte was to attend the decommissioning ceremony some 40 kilometres (25 miles) away in Sultan Kudarat.