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MNLF forces in Zamboanga City release 12-year-old hostage

September 9, 2013 9:20pm
The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) at 6 p.m. Monday released one of their hostages, a 12-year-old boy from the town of Sta. Catalina, as part of a request by the group for their forces in Kasanyangan to meet the group in Sta. Catalina without trouble, according to a report on 24 Oras by GMA News stringer Jayvee Francisco.

Despite the boy's release, the rest of the townspeople are still being used as human shields. According to Sta. Catalina barangay kagawad Boy Arabe, the townspeople were tied up and taken to the back of a container yard.

Sta. Catalina and Kasanyangan are two of the barangays taken over by the MNLF

At the time of the report, gunfire briefly resumed near Zamboanga City's city hall. The shots were fired in Brgy. Sta. Barbara, 40 to 50 meters away from the city hall. It is not yet known which side fired the shots.

The military are avoiding conflicts at night to prevent civilian casualties.

Three 6x6 trucks with Philippine Marines augmenting troops from the Western Mindanao Command entered the city proper on Monday. Only police and military forces are currently in the streets to secure the city and the city hall.

According to the City Peace and Order Council, around 200 armed men were part of the MNLF forces that entered Zamboanga City early Monday morning until around 10 a.m.

Francisco said that the barangays invaded by MNLF forces were Muslim communities. The barangays were Marique, which was the barangay invaded by the MNLF early Monday morning, Sta. Catalina, Kasanyangan, Rio Hondo, and Sta. Barbara. Rie Takumi/BM, GMA News
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