ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Fresh fighting erupted at around 5 a.m. Friday between police forces and Moro National Liberation Front guerrillas.
The fighting took place near the Zamboanga City Medical Center on Veterans Street on the fifth day of a siege and standoff that began Monday after an unknown number of disgruntled MNLF fightrers occupied three coastal village of Zamboanga.
The new round of fighting occurred hours before President Aquino was scheduled to visit the city.
MNLF forces have been engaged in sporadic fighting with government troops since Monday, when they arrived here allegedly to hold a rally in Plaza Pershing.
The MNLF forces belong to a faction led by Nur Misuari, former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Misuari had repeatedly criticized the government for failing to fully implement the provisions of the peace agreement it signed with the MNLF in 1996.