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Philippine rebels on cusp of Muslim autonomy dream

Bangsamoro region to vote in a referendum granting greater powers to local leaders

People in Bangsamoro will vote on whether to approve a new region with greater autonomy on Jan. 21 and Feb. 6. (Photo by Jun Endo)

DARAPANAN, Philippines -- Forty-nine years ago, Al Haj Murad Ebrahim quit college and joined a rebellion intent on establishing an Islamic government in the Philippines, a predominantly Catholic nation. Now, aged 69, he is just a referendum away from realizing his dream.

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