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Ex-hostage bonded by love

Noel Fong Yin Ken, who was an Abu Sayyaf hostage for 119 days, will add a new chapter in his life. He will be marrying Japanese Yumiko Kitaura here today.

Former Sipadan hostage weds

The wedding reception of former Sipadan hostage Noel Fong Yin Ken and Yumiko Kitaura at the Pacific Sutera Hotel on Sunday turned out to be a reunion of sorts for several former captives and their negotiators.

Deployment of US troops causes turmoil

B>MANILA:/BPhilippine leaders battled to quell growing political turmoil triggered by US' disclosure that hundreds of US special operations troops are on the way to fight alongside the Philippine military against ruthless Abu Sayyaf rebels.

Manila spurns US combat role

ZAMBOANGA: US and Filipino troops formally launched new anti-terrorism exercises yesterday as the Philippines flatly rejected any combat role for the Americans in fighting Abu Sayyaf rebels linked to al-Qaeda.

Philippine official: U.S. military role still being discussed

Philippine Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes said his country needs more American military help to quell Muslim extremists in the southern Philippines but wants the deployment of U.S. forces delayed until their exact role can be determined.

17 receive awards for excellent service and contributions

The Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) honoured 17 people for their excellent service and contributions to the society.

Rebels warn against deployment of US troops

B>MANILA:/BSeparatist guerillas warned yesterday that deploying US combat trainers near their southern Philippine strongholds could draw the visiting forces into local clashes, resulting in American casualties.

Indon sailor escapes from Abu Sayyaf

B>ZAMBOANGA:/BAn Indonesian sailor held captive by Abu Sayyaf gunmen in the southern Philippines has escaped during a military offensive, ending nine months in captivity, the military said yesterday.

US troops to be deployed in Sulu

Philippine President Gloria Arroyo said yesterday she had approved the deployment of US troops to a stronghold of the Muslim Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom group in Sulu.

Abu Sayyaf rebels kill soldier

Philippine troops clashed with Muslim guerrillas Wednesday in a mountain rain forest, in a running gunbattle that killed a soldier and injured two others, an official said.