2 fires break out amid Zambo fighting-A A +A
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
ZAMBOANGA CITY (Updated 2 p.m.) -- Fire broke out anew Wednesday in two areas here as military troops continue their "calibrated response" against the "Misuari-faction" of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
The fire hit Sitio Lustre and Martha Drive, both in Barangay Sta. Catalina, 1.76 kilometers east of City Hall, as the advancing troops continue to meet pockets of resistance from the MNLF rebels.
This prompted the military ground commanders not to allow the firemen to respond to the fire alarms to protect them from the MNLF retaliation.
The authorities believed the rebels intentionally set ablaze the houses while retreating.
Armed Forces Public Affairs Officer Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala said the "calibrated response" is aimed to ensure the safety of the hostages that are still in the hands of the MNLF rebels.
The Bureau of Fire Protection has reported that more than 10 fire incidents occurred in separate areas of Sta. Barbara and Sta. Catalina villages since the start of the standoff last September 9. [Read the related story.]
Most of the houses in the two fire-hit areas were closely built from one another and made of light materials and semi-concrete structures. (Bong Garcia/Sunnex)