Soldier killed, flights resume in Zamboanga
ZAMBOANGA CITY (UPDATE 1) - Another soldier was killed in Zamboanga City as the standoff between Moro National Liberation Front-Misuari Group fighters and government forces entered its 11th day.
The latest death brings to 12 the total number of uniformed men killed in action in the city. At least 117 people have been wounded in the skirmishes.
Government troops are now conducting house-to-house clearing operations in Barangays Santa Barbara and Santa Catalina.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines said MNLF men loyal to Nur Misuari have been trimmed to less than 70 members who are contained in a few barangays. Another 15 MNLF fighters have surrendered to the military.
AFP spokesman Domingo Tutaan said ending the standoff is taking longer than expected because MNLF forces continue to use hostages as human shields. Around 20 hostages are still in the hands of the armed group.
"They would start firing at the soldiers then put the hostages in front. That was causing the delay. We have to be discerning in launching our calibrated response," he said.
Meanwhile, the Zamboanga International Airport partially resumed operations which were suspended on September 9.
Two commercial flights were allowed today - one for Cebu Pacific, the other for PAL Express.
The first flight was scheduled to leave Manila at around 9 a.m.
Flights from Zamboanga to Cebu, Jolo and Tawi-Tawi remain suspended.