Up to 15 MNLF gunmen yield as troops near ‘ground zero’
ZAMBOANGA CITY — At least 15 Moro National Liberation Front gunmen under Commander Dasta surrendered around 6 a.m. Thursday, the military said.
Lieutenant General Rey Ardo, commander of the Western Mindanao Command, said the gunmen yielded as government troops closed in on their positions in the so-called “ground zero,” where clearing operations were ongoing.
Ardo credited the leaflet campaign by the military for the surrender of the gunmen, who are still being “extricated” from the area.
“Di natin ma-full blast (ang operations) para masiguradong ligtas ang hostages [We can’t go full blast with the operations to ensure the safety of hostages],” Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said on radio earlier Thursday.
He said the rebels could have surrendered because they were tired, hungry and running low on ammunition.
On Wednesday, the military said there could be less than a hundred hostages taken by MNLF forces and used as human shields.
Fresh fighting broke out in Sta. Catalina and Sta. Barbara early Thursday, which left one soldier killed.
At least a hundred have been killed and injured from the gunbattle that started last week. Civilians bore the brunt of the fighting, with at least 110,000 persons displaced as of Wednesday afternoon, seven killed and 67 injured.
Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:
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