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Priest trains parishioners to shoot rebels

A priest in the southern Philippines is training parishioners to use automatic rifles and pistols to repel attacks by separatist rebels.

Fr Cirilo Nacorda, who is leading the self-defence courses, is parish priest in Lamitan, on the island of Basilan, where last week rebels seized and beheaded nine Catholics.

The killers, who were from the Muslim Abu Sayyaf group, have promised to kill more Christians if the government does not halt its military offensive.

Fr Nacorda, parish priest of St Peter the Apostle Church, has ensured that over 100 inhabitants of Lamitan are armed, including several teachers at the local Claretian school.

Catholic Herald