2 more MNLF men killed in Zambo standoff
MANILA - At least two more Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels were reportedly killed in the firefight with government security forces in Zamboanga City on Thursday, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said.
This is in addition to the seven MNLF rebels killed in the initial exchanges of fire last Monday, the first day of the standoff.
In its Twitter account, the AFP said two bodies were recovered by the Army's 44th Infantry Battalion on Friday.
2 cadavers of suspected MNLF recovered by Army's 44IB. Found with them were food/med supply & personal belongings w MNLF uniforms.
— Team AFP (@TeamAFP) September 13, 2013
Zagala, in an interview with radio dzMM on Friday morning, said they have yet to verify the total number of fatalities from the side of the rebel group.
According to Fr. Michael Alejo of the crisis management committee in Zamboanga City, the bodies of the two rebels were brought out by the MNLF from Barangay Santa Barbara Friday morning, as they released Fr. Michael Ufana, the priest they held hostage last Monday.
Alejo noted that under Muslim tradition, bodies should be buried within 24 hours of death.
Barangay Santa Barbara is one of the areas where the rebels have been holed up since the standoff began.
Meanwhile, both Zagala and Alejo denied a report that several MNLF rebels have already surrendered.
They said negotiations with the MNLF group under Nur Misuari are still ongoing. -- With report from Edwin Sevidal, dzMM