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Military launches air strike vs suspected MNLF fighters in Basilan—resident

September 12, 2013 2:53pm

Troops capture several MNLF gunmen in Zambo as clashes erupt in Basilan
Troops capture several MNLF gunmen in Zambo as clashes erupt in Basilan . Paramedics carry a suspected Moro National Liberation Front fighter after he was wounded and captured at a checkpoint in downtown Zamboanga City on Wednesday, September 11. The siege of the city which started on Monday entered its fourth day as fresh clashes erupted in nearby Basilan island on Thursday, September 12. Reuters/Erik De Castro
(Updated 5:20 p.m.) - Military launched an air strike against suspected Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Lamitan City in Basilan province Thursday morning, according to a resident.
 
In a phone interview with GMA News Online, a resident of Lamitan City who refused to be identified, said the air strike started at around 9:30  to 10 a.m.
 
He added that as of 2:30 p.m., "Ongoing pa rin ang bombing. Pang-apat na nagre-reload."
 
Armed Forces public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala confirmed this and said the Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command ordered the airstrike. He added that two Philippine Air Force MG-520 helicopters were used.
 
For his part, PAF Public Information Office Director Col. Miguel Okol said: "Our air assets are at their disposal."
 
Members of the MNLF engaged government troops in a firefight in Lamitan City Thursday morning, a police report said. 


 
Senior Superintendent Mario Dapilloza, Basilan provincial police director, told GMA News TV's "News to Go" the firefight started about 9 a.m., between Army Scout Rangers and an undetermined number of MNLF gunmen in Barangay Campo Uno.
 
In a radio interview, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Mujiv Hataman said six people were wounded in the firefight between the Scout Rangers and combined forces of the MNLF, Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Lamitan. —KG/RSJ, GMA News
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