Voters delivered a convincing result of about 1.7 million in favour and some 254,600 against to ratify the new law [Bogie Calupitan/AP Photo]

Voters have decisively approved an expanded Muslim-led region in the Philippines’ south, which is hoped will bring a measure of peace after decades of fighting has killed thousands and mired the area in poverty.

The results, announced on Friday, will begin the process of the Catholic-majority nation’s largest rebel group,

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