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Philippine rebel group ousts radical commander

LAST UPDATED: 2:15 a.m. HST, Aug 21, 2011

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A leader of the Philippines' largest Muslim rebel group says it has ousted a radical commander who staged a mutiny and then formed a breakaway force with hundreds of fighters.

Vice Chairman Ghazali Jaafar said Sunday that the central committee of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has approved a resolution dropping Ameril Umbra Kato from its membership. The rebels reached the decision last week after efforts to woo Kato back failed.

Jaafar says rebel negotiators will inform their Philippine government counterparts of Kato's removal when the two sides resume peace talks in Malaysia on Monday.

Kato, who opposes peace talks, told The Associated Press last week that he has organized a new rebel group to continue fighting for a separate Muslim homeland.

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