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Philippines: April 8, 2002

Soldiers and police attacked a Pentagon gang hideout and freed an Italian priest who had been held for six months. The kidnappers fled. The Pentagon gang, composed of former (and some say current) members of the MILF, has been active in kidnapping for ransom over the last two years. The gang was trying to extort a ransom of $196,000 for the priest. Meanwhile, also in the south, a bomb went off in the town of Cotabato, wounding six.