MANILA, Philippines –Several persons, including two civilians and a naval soldier, were reportedly killed when members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) attacked at least six villages in Zamboanga City early Monday.
Colonel Adrelino Colina, head of Task Force Zamboanga, confirmed the deaths of the three still unnamed fatalities.
Sketchy reports said that two policemen were also killed in the attack, which started at 4 a.m.
The six coastal villages attacked by at least 500 MNLF members were Mampang, Talon-Talon, Rio Hondo, Mariki, Sta. Barbara and Sta. Catalina.
Colina told INQUIRER.net that enough troops have been deployed in the ongoing firefight.
All business establishments, schools and offices have been closed.
At least 38 people in Sta. Catalina were being held by the MNLF forces, who threatened to kill the civilians if their demands are not met.
MNLF sources said the MNLF forces came from Sulu, Basilan and Zamboanga Sibugay.
The MNLF, led by its chair Nur Misuari, signed a peace agreement with the government in 1996. The group has been complaining about government not implementing what has been agreed upon in 1996.