Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-9-23 21:26:55
Three more Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebel fighter were killed Monday by Philippine government forces in the continuing Zamboanga City conflict.
The three MNLF rebel fighters died in a firefight in Sta Catalina village at around 6 a.m. in the morning as sporadic fighting continued, Brig. Gen. Domingo Tutaan, spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said in a press briefing in Camp Aguinaldo.
"There is some isolated exchanges of fires in Sta Catalina because our troops are now moving in to lessen the space where the MNLF Misuari faction is moving," he said.
"We are trying to constrict their movement. From three to four hectares that was reported last week, their area has been constricted to a smaller area," Tutaan said, without giving an updated figure of the area where the enemy is moving.
"Just this hour, we rescued (two hostages) from the area (in Sta Barbara). They were taken away from the conflict area and we already rescued them, I believe they are now with (local government officials)," he added.
Maj. Harold Cabunoc, chief of the 7th Civil Relations Group, said meanwhile government troops also rescued two of the hostages and two other civilians.
The conflict occurred when about 200 armed followers of Nur Misuari went to Zamboanga City allegedly to campaign for independence on Sept. 9. But the government troops chanced upon them resulting in skirmishes. The armed men scampered and took civilians as their human shields.