Posted by: Chuck | September 17, 2013

MNLF defiant as military closes in

ZAMBOANGA – The Philippine military said Monday they were close to defeating Moro rebels laying siege to Zamboanga City, but the guerrillas defiantly traded gunfire while using civilians as human shields. The military said up to 100 Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels were still engaged in battles with troops around two coastal villages in Zamboanga, a week after the guerrillas invaded the city to stake an independence claim. “They still have ammunition and they continue to fire at us,” armed forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala told AFP by phone from Zamboanga, but he insisted a military offensive was succeeding. “We know for a fact that the end is near and they are trying to flee. Some of them may be trying to disguise as civilians, so it’s very critical that the village elders help us identify those who are not from their neighborhoods.” Heavily armed MNLF forces entered the port city’s coastal neighborhoods last Monday in a bid to sabotage talks between a rival rebel group and the government that are aimed at ending decades of conflict. (Source: Agence France-Presse and ABS-CBN News 9/16/13)




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