More MNLF rebels killed after gov't declares end to siege
MANILA - More members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) under Nur Misuari were killed Sunday, the military said.
Armed Forces of the Philippines spokersperson Ramon Zagala said 6 MNLF men were killed in Barangay Sta. Barbara after refusing to surrender.
"They put little resistance at pinabayaan lang din natin. We asked them to surrender, pero ayaw. Napatay natin itong anim and we got all those weapons. May mga bala pa silang panlaban," Zagala told radio DZMM.
In a separate operation, two more MNLF fighters were killed while another one was arrested.
Zagala said all hostages have been accounted for and that there are no longer any missing civilians that may be in the hands of the Misauri group.
The shootout occurred a day after the government announced the end to the three-week standoff. Zagala said minor gunfights are to be expected as some areas have yet to be totally cleared.
"The first mission is to rescue the hostages and we did that. Second is to remove the threat to Zamboanga City and we did that," he said.
"May mga nagsasabi po kasi hindi pa tapos kasi may konting putok, may konting encounter. These are part of the clearing operation o phase 2 na mas matagal po kasi hahanapin natin yung natitira, yung mga nagtatago sa bahay-bahay."
More than 10,000 homes were razed to the ground, forcing over 100,000 people -- around a tenth of the city's population -- to flee.
The latest clash put the toll at nearly 200 MNLF fighters killed, with 292 captured or surrendering, while 23 soldiers and police and 12 civilians had also been slain.
A total of 195 civilian hostages were rescued, and authorities believe there are no more still in the hands of the gunmen, said Zagala. – with ANC; Agence France-Presse