30,000 villagers evacuated; scores hurt in mortar attack
More News from Frances Mangosing
MANILA, Philippines – The total number of evacuees in the ongoing clash between government troops and Moro National Liberation Front ballooned to nearly 30,000 on Friday.
The Office of Civil Defense in Zamboanga Peninsula said that there were a total of 29,557 persons sheltered at 17 evacuation centers as of Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile, several persons were wounded in a mortar explosion in Santa Catalina village late Friday afternoon.
A TV report from the ABS-CBN News Channel showed delayed firefight footage, as well as several Red Cross workers wounded and being given first aid.
On Thursday night, residents in the villages of Hondo, Sta. Barbara, Sta. Catalina, Talon-Talon and Mampang were forcibly evacuated after the Zamboanga City government declared an emergency.
The local government said the evacuation was resorted to “when there is either a disaste or emergency and danger or loss of lives becomes imminent.”
The ongoing firefight, with intermittent skirmishes since Monday, has left 22 killed, as per military records. Two from the fatalities were soldiers, three were from police, two were civilians. Fifteen Moro rebels were killed.
Meanwhile, 26 soldiers were reported wounded.
On Friday, President Benigno Aquino III visited Zamboanga City, which military spokesman Brigadier General Domingo Tutaan described as a “boost to the morale of soldiers.”
Secretary of Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Ricky Carandang said Aquino went there “to personally assess the situation on the ground.”
Originally posted at 4:40 p.m.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94