Agusan gunmen free 46 hostages

Tribal court to handle murder

PROSPERIDAD, AGUSAN DEL SUR—A three-day hostage drama ended on Sunday when tribal gunmen released their remaining 46 hostages after authorities agreed not to arrest them and animals were sacrificed.

“It’s really a merry Christmas for us. Thank God for this,” housewife Nida Rabusado exclaimed on hearing the news that her husband Casiano and the others had been freed after tough negotiations deep in the forest of San Martin village in Agusan del Sur province.

Under the deal, authorities agreed to transfer pending murder cases against the leader of the kidnappers and his men to a tribal court and disarm both them and a rival clan.

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