Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Philippines Military free 116 hostages from Muslim rebels

Zamboanga city,MNLF,Military,war

ZAMBOANGA (Philippines) — The Philippine Military have taken back control of about 70% of the coastal areas of a southern city that were occupied by Muslim rebels Moro National Liberation Front and rescued 116 of more than 100 civilians held hostage in a nine-day standoff, the military said today (Sept 17, 2013).

Military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Ramon Zagala said that 64 civilians were freed, some of them escaped during military operations earlier today. Then another 14 walked to freedom in separate batches. That brought to 116 the number of those rescued in the last 18 hours.

He also said that more than 100 Moro National Liberation Front rebels were still holding other hostages in the remaining pockets they controlled in five coastal villages in Zamboanga city. The government initially estimated more than 180 people were being held by the rebels, but Lt-Col Zagala said the exact number was unclear.

Three (3) soldiers were killed and 10 wounded today in the latest fighting in Zamboanga city, which followed a day of military airstrikes on rebel positions. That brings the death toll on the government side to 12 — nine soldiers and three policemen.

Troops and special police forces have killed or arrested more than 100 rebels who occupied the coastal areas after government forces foiled what officials said was an attempt by the heavily armed insurgents to take control of city hall on Sept 8.

Seven civilians have been killed in the fighting.

Troops have tried to contain the clashes on the outskirts of Zamboanga, a largely Christian city of nearly 1 million people, but suspected rebel mortar fire destroyed a car near the city’s downtown area yesterday, raising fears the gunmen were attempting to divert the military’s attention.

No comments:

Post a Comment