MNLF rebels attack troops in Basilan; 6 soldiers wounded-A A +A
Friday, September 13, 2013
FOLLOWERS of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founder Nur Misuari attacked government forces in Lamitan City anew Friday morning, wounding six soldiers, military officials said.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala said the MNLF faction, which he called Rogue Misuari Elements, were aided by Abu Sayyaf terrorists and members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement.
He said around 100 men attempted to enter Lamitan City proper around 9:55 a.m. "but were blocked" by forces from the 18th Infantry Battalion and 9th Scout Ranger Company.
Zagala said the fighting lasted for two hours, "failing to overwhelm an Armm-DPWH satellite building."
Armm-DPWH stands for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao-Department of Public Works and Highways.
"We were subjected by the enemy with mortar fires but we were able to repulse their onslaught," said Colonel Carlito Galvez, commander of the Army's 104th Brigade.
Galvez said the enemy appears to be resolute in entering Lamitan City proper.
On Wednesday, the three groups also clashed with troops in Lamitan City, leaving a civilian volunteer and three Abu Sayyaf men dead. The fighting also left two soldiers, two civilian volunteers and seven Abu Sayyaf men wounded.
"Most probably, it is related to the Zambo issue," the official said, referring to the ongoing crisis in Zamboanga City, where MNLF rebels held captive nearly 200 hostages last Monday.
As of Thursday, he said, movements in Lamitan City were a "little restricted." He said residents of Christian communities in the outskirts have been evacuated to prevent civilian casualties. (VR/Sunnex)