Bandits Kidnap 75 From Philippine School
Dozens of children held hostage in southern Philippines
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2009 2:39 AM CST
Philippine troops secure a highway in Mindanao earlier this week.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Gunmen seized 75 people, mostly children, during a raid on a remote elementary school in the southern Philippines this morning. The hostages were taken to a forested area, and officials are attempting to negotiate with the armed tribesmen for their release, the BBC reports. The incident is believed to be unrelated to the unrest on the other side of Mindanao in the increasingly troubled nation.

"We've sent troops to help rescue the hostages," a local official told Reuters. "We are not aware of any political demands, but negotiations are ongoing to free the hostages that include two forest rangers and some of the parents who were in the school at that time."