The Philippine government has given Muslim rebels 24 hours to vacate towns they are accused of occupying in the country's volatile south.
"Otherwise they shall be forcibly separated from the area," Interior Minister Ronaldo Puno told reporters.
He said about 800 rebels from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) had seized several villages.
Christians there have protested against a government-MILF deal that would see a Muslim autonomous zone expanded. E SF