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Friday, 15 December, 2000, 13:11 GMT
Filipino cultists hacked to death

Eleven people have been hacked to death in a machete battle between two feuding Christian cults in the southern Philippines, according to police.

They said the fighting broke out when about 100 armed members of the Pulahan sect attacked the shrine of a rival group, the Philippine Benevolent Missionary Association (PBMA), on the island of Dinagat.

About 200 PBMA members repulsed the attack and hacked to death Pulahan sect leader Edecio Quinanola and 10 followers, according to unconfirmed reports.

Police have been deployed to the area, north-east of Mindanao, to prevent more fighting.

Folklore

Correspondents say there are dozens of pseudo-Christian cults in isolated areas of Mindanao, the main southern island of the Philippines where Muslim separatists have also been waging a rebellion.

The cults mix Christian teaching, folklore and pagan rituals.

Earlier this year, at least 20 people died when members of another cult, called Catholic God's Spirit, clashed with police trying to arrest one of their members.

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12 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
Cult clash leaves 20 dead
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