Posted by: Chuck | September 10, 2013

Muslim rebels locked in standoff with Philippine army

Those who regularly follow the news in the Philippines are aware of this but not everyone follows the news, so here is a link to the story:

http://newsinfo. inquirer. net/483945/ mnlf-holding- 38-as-hostages- in-zamboanga- city-village- says-mayor.

The Daily Inquirer seems to have more ongoing updated information than International news agencies. If you are in the area of Zamboanga, be careful and be safe.

Philippine troops were locked in a standoff with hundreds of Muslim gunmen who killed six people and took at least 20 hostages in the south on Monday in a bid to derail peace talks. Armoured troops surrounded the southern port city of Zamboanga after between 200 and 300 Moro National Liberation Front gunmen entered six coastal villages on its outskirts before dawn, military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Ramon Zagala said. “They were trying to march on the city hall and we cannot allow that,” he told a news conference in Manila, adding that two gunmen were arrested.

President Benigno Aquino’s government denounced the deadly attack, which analysts said was designed to sabotage peace talks aimed at ending a 42-year-old rebellion that has claimed 150,000 lives.

“The authorities are responding to the situation in a manner that will reduce the risk to innocent civilians and restore peace and order to Zamboanga City at the soonest possible time,” Aquino spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a statement.

Loud explosions could be heard around the former colonial Spanish port of nearly one million people. Streets were deserted and shops, schools and government offices as well as the airport were shut down. Heavily armed private security personnel as well as troops guarded the airport, hotels, banks and other buildings, said an AFP reporter on the ground. “We can still hear sporadic gunshots. We don’t know if this is from the government forces or from the MNLF,” city hall employee Ramon Bucoy said.

Zamboanga mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said two security forces and four civilians had been killed and 1,500 people fled their homes. The military and police said at least 20 people had been taken hostage. (Source: AFP news and Yahoo News 9/9/13)



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