Philippines: Nearly 100 Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels killed or captured in Zamboanga
Nearly 100 Muslim guerrillas who have held scores of people hostage for a week in Zamboanga City have been killed or captured in an offensive to retake rebel-held coastal communities, officials said Sunday.
Army troops and police special forces have regained rebel-held grounds and are pressing an assault deeper into communities in the coastal outskirts of Zamboanga city, where more than 100 Moro National Liberation Front guerrillas are holding an unspecified number of hostages, military spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said.
“We’re gaining ground, we’re pushing forward,” he said.
Troops are calibrating their firepower to avoid harming civilians, Zagala said.
At least 51 rebels have been killed and 42 others captured, most while trying to escape along the coast after discarding their camouflage uniforms for ordinary clothes, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas IIsaid, adding that the gunmen would face criminal charges.