6 more die as fighting drags on in Zamboanga City

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A Philippine National Police officer examines the extent of the damage by a mortar shelling that created a hole (left) in the kitchen of a two-storey house at Tetuan district as exchange of gunfire between Government forces and Muslim rebels continues for thirteen days now Saturday Sept. 21, 2013 in Zamboanga city in southern Philippines. The ongoing standoff between Government forces and Muslim rebels, who seized several hostages and used them as human shields, has now displaced more than 100,000 people and resulted in billions of pesos (millions of dollars) losses to the city’s business. The occupant of the house, Norma Lladones, was killed in the mortar shelling and her daughter-in-law was wounded, police said. AP

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines—Officials said five more rebels and an elderly woman were killed as fighting dragged on in Zamboanga City between government troops and a group of Muslim rebels holding out with about 20 civilian hostages.

The 71-year-old woman was killed Saturday when a stray mortar shell allegedly fired by the rebels loyal to Moro National Liberation Front leader Nur Misuari hit her house in Zamboanga city.

Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala said five more rebels were killed and two soldiers were wounded as troops battled rebels within meters (yards) of each other. He said 35 rebels are holding out.

Troops are searching two neighborhoods for rebels who seized scores of civilians as human shields 13 days ago when government forces repulsed their bid to occupy the city.

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