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Muslim rebels use priest to beg for peace after taking city of Marawi

240 Christians are being held hostage while thousands more are fleeing the Philippine city

Muslim rebels use priest to beg for peace after taking city of Marawi

A week after Islamist militants kidnapped some 240 Catholics in the Philippines, a video has surfaced online showing one of the hostages, Father Chito Suganob, calling for the government to halt its military offensive in the city.

Shown wearing a black polo shirt and jeans, Father Suganob at the beginning of the five-minute video lists the other “prisoners of war” taken hostage with him, including several Catholic college students and professors, as well as some 200 others, including women and children.

He speaks directly to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, asking him to withdraw his army from the city and “to stop the airstrikes and to stop the cannons.”

With a cracked voice, the priest, who is vicar general of the Marawi territorial prelature, asks the president to “please consider us,” saying that “it’s hard” for the hostages to bear, because they can hear gunfire and cannons going off around them.  

The militants, he said, “don’t ask for anything. ... They just ask that you leave this place peacefully.”

Militants of the Maute group stormed the city of Marawi, on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao, May 23. The group, formed in 2012, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in 2015.

This article continues at [NC Register] Video: Kidnapped Filipino Priest Pleads for Help

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