Two suspected members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) were killed Thursday morning in an encounter with government troops conducting clearing operation in southern Philippine city of Zamboanga, local police said.
Zamboanga Peninsula Police public information chief Ariel Huesca said that the incident occurred at around 8:20 am local time at Sta. Catalina village in Zamboanga City.
While members of the 23rd Marine Company were conducting clearing operation, they chanced upon the two rebels and convinced them to surrender but they allegedly instead fired towards the government troops, he said, adding that exchanges of fire ensued, resulting in the death of the suspects.
The military recovered two M14 rifles and several MNLF identification cards from the slain rebels, Huesca said.
Armed MNLF members under the faction of Nur Misuari staged a three-week standoff with the government troops last month in Zamboanga City resulting in death of about 200 people, mostly from the armed group, and burning of over 9,000 houses.