MANILA, Philippines (7th UPDATE) “” Up to 400 suspected members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) have taken over 4 barangays in Zamboanga City early Monday morning, September 9, Mayor Maria Isabelle “Beng” Climaco told Rappler.
As of 11 am Monday, at least 6 were reported killed (one policeman, one navy personnel and four civilians) while 24 were wounded, including 3 cops, 7 soldiers and 4 civilians, according to Climaco’s statement issued 2 p.m. Monday.
“More or less” 20 hostages were still being held by the armed men while 200 civilians are stranded in Barangay Catalina, where the hostages where taken, Police Senior Supt Wilben Mayor told a press conference Monday afternoon in Camp Crame.
The 4 barangays affected are: Sta Barbara, Sta Catalina, Rio Hondo, Mariki, and areas in Talontalon. Climaco said they are verifying if the MNLF had taken over another barangay.
“We are certain it’s the MNLF,” said Armed Forces public information chief Lt Col Ramon Zagala.