Monday, September 23, 2013

Fire breaks anew coupled with intermittent fighting in Zamboanga City

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 23): Fire breaks anew coupled with intermittent fighting in Zamboanga City

Fire broke out anew, bringing to at least 16 the fire incidents since the standoff started last September 9 following the incursion of hundreds of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels in this city.

Fire broke out around 1 p.m. in the interior part of Barangay Sta. Barbara at the height of intermittent firefight.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Public Affairs Officer Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said the troops continue to advance to retake positions earlier occupied by the MNLF rebels.

Zagala said the troops are cautiously advancing as the rebels are still holding hostage at least 21 people.

Two MG-520 rocket-firing helicopters are providing air support to the ground troops that continue to advance.

Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) Chief Insp. Ariel Huesca said that continuous clearing operation is still being conducted by the government forces in the affected barangays.

Huesca said that the government forces suffered 14 killed--11 soldiers and three policemen--and 147 wounded--134 soldiers and 13 policemen.

Huesca said that 11 civilians were also killed while 70 others were wounded since the start of the standoff last September 9.

A total of 98 MNLF rebels were killed while 99 were captured and 24 have surrendered, according to Huesca.

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