ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — The Philippines' vice president said Friday that a Muslim rebel leader has accepted a cease-fire to allow talks on ending a five-day hostage crisis in which his followers have held more than 100 people in a southern port city.
The standoff began Monday when about 200 fighters from a Moro National Liberation Front rebel faction stormed several coastal communities in Zamboanga city and seized residents. Twenty-two people, including 15 rebels, have been killed in sporadic clashes between the guerrillas and troops who have surrounded them, the military said.
Vice President Jejomar Binay said rebel leader Nur Misuari agreed to a truce late Friday by telephone, and he relayed the news to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, who has been helping deal with the crisis in Zamboanga city, a major southern port city.
"The details of a peaceful settlement can be threshed out with a cease-fire in place," Binay said by telephone, adding that he planned to fly to Zamboanga on Saturday.