The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday announced that the rogue members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), who took around 20 hostages in Kaytangyan, Barangay Sta. Catalina,
"There is no demand (yet) they refuse to talk to us," AFP public information office chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said.
"So there is a possibility that in their desire to punch through the position of our troops they got these human shields in order for them to punch through the AFP forces in the area," Zagala said.
He added that these estimated 200 MNLF fighters, which are presently cordoned in Barangays Sta. Catalina, Talon-Talon, Sta. Barbara, Mariki and Rio Hondo, all in
Zagala said that the cordon was deployed around 4 a.m. to prevent the MNLF from coming out.
At least six people were killed while 24 were wounded in the clash between government troops and alleged members of the MNLF, Mayor Isabella Climaco-Salazar said.
In a statement, Climaco-Salazar also said the city government is "mobilizing all resources" to address the situation stemming from the infiltration of alleged MNLF members in some of the city's coastal barangays.
"Since the start of the crisis at around 4:30 a.m. today, the Zamboanga City Police Office reported that six people were killed — one policemen, one Navy personnel and four civilians and 24 wounded in the course of the encounter between government troops and the rebels," she said.
"More casualties are reported on the enemy side," she added but did not elaborate.
The mayor said the clashes had affected the barangays of Sta. Catalina, Sta. Barbara, Talon-talon and Mampang.
At least 20 hostages were reported in Sta. Catalina and 200 at
On the other hand, Climaco-Salazar said at least 600 evacuees from Arena Blanco and Rio Hondo are sheltered at the grandstand, and 847 at Tetuan Central School and Tetuan Parish Church.
Several others are sheltered at the