CIVILIANS AND SOLDIERS sat tight through the second day of the Zamboanga standoff with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) with still no end to the siege in sight.
MNLF rebels entered the regional hub of Zamboanga City Monday early morning, triggering firefights with government troops and policemen that left six people dead and several more wounded. Local officials have also announced that the rebels are holding civilians captive as human shields.
The rebels were reportedly acting on orders of MNLF founder Nur Misuari, who had declared an independent BangsaMoro Republik last month after complaining that his group had been sidelined in the peace talks with the rival Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Misuari had also complained that the government had already abandoned the 1996 peace agreement it had entered into with the rebel group.
The following are images from the second day of the Zamboanga siege, courtesy of the Philippine Information Agency’s Region IX office in Zamboanga City. All the images are used with permission from the PIA. The PIA Region IX Facebook page also hosts these pictures.
Civilians displaced by the fighting find rest on the sidewalks of the city (photos courtesy of PIAIX)
The Mindanao Human Rights Action Center (MINHrac) says the number of evacuees at the St. Ignatius de Loyola Church has already increased to 2,000 Tuesday afternoon. As a result, the church could no longer accommodate the growing number of evacuees.
Some of the evacuees have now been transferred to the Immaculate Concepcion Archdiocesan School and the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex.
Other news reports have placed the total number of evacuees from all over the city at 7,000-9,000 people.
A government soldier injured during the fighting (photos from PIAIX)
Government troops and armored personnel carriers in Bgy. Talon-Talon (photos from PIAIX)
A fire guts several buildings in Bgy. Sta. Barbara, scene of some of the fighting (photos from PIAIX)