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Life’s back to normal in Basilan

/ 08:08 PM September 18, 2013

A YAKAN vendor at the Lamitan City public market.  INQUIRER MINDANAO / JULIE ALIPALA

MANILA, Philippines—After getting caught in a battle between government forces and Moro gunmen last week, life is back to normal in Basilan.

“Displaced persons in Lamitan City evacuation centers had already returned to their own homes as of 2:45 p.m. Wednesday,” Manny Ochotorena, director of the Office of Civil Defense in Basulta (Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi) told INQUIRER.net Wednesday.

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As much as 12,000 persons were affected in several villages of Lamitan City and Akbar town in the fighting that started Thursday last week. Forced evacuation in some areas was implemented by the local government.

“Everything is normalized. Classes also resumed,” he said.

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The military and combined forces of the Abu Sayyaf, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) figured in clashes in Lamitan City for two days.

The intermittent firefight cost two lives of civilians, Army’s 104th Brigade Col. Carlito Galvez told INQUIRER.net.

There were nine soldiers wounded. On the rebels’ side, there were five reportedly killed.

Galvez said the rebels, who tried to enter the city proper, withdrew during the clashes.

He added threats of the MNLF to reinforce troops in nearby Zamboanga City have also “subsided.”

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One killed, 5 wounded as Moro gunmen attack Basilan

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TAGS: abu sayyaf, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Basilan, Basulta, biff, Lamitan City, Moro gunmen, Muslim, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi
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