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Filipino rebels order mayor, 4 jail guards freed

LAST UPDATED: 2:03 a.m. HST, Oct 2, 2011

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Communist guerrilla leaders have ordered the release of a town mayor and four jail guards who were captured months ago and whose freedom has been demanded by the Philippine president.

Government negotiator Alexander Padilla on Sunday welcomed pronouncements by the rebels that they were ready to release Mayor Henry Dano, who was captured in August, and the four jail guards, who were snatched by the rebels in July in the south.

The rebels say they will turn over the captives to representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross if the military and police will halt offensives and rescue operations in designated southern provinces.

President Benigno Aquino III has said the release of the captives would show the rebels' sincerity amid peace talks.

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