Reports say that some soldiers died while other were wounded in a armed clash between government troops and around 200 alleged members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Santa Catalina, Zamboanga City.
The fight started at 4:30 a.m. today monday, september 9.
The MNLF is a former Muslim rebel group founded by Nur Misuari, now 71 years old, in the early 1970s to push for an independent Islamic state in the region. Misuari, a charismatic former university professor, however signed a peace deal with the government in 1996 and settled for autonomy, but not all his followers had been disarmed. Misuari was the former Governor of Moro Autonomous Region then remove by the, at that time, President of the Philippines Gloria Arroyo, arrested in 2007 and than freed on bail the next year.
The long-running insurgency since 1969 has left more than 100,000 dead, and led to a propagation of other armed groups like BMA, MILF and Abu Sayyaf that has left parts of Western Mindanao in a permanent state of tension. The actual Filipino Government recognize only the MILF as the legal representative of the Moro people and its spokesperson Von Al Haq said the development in Zamboanga City “would have no bearing whatsoever with the ongoing peace talks involving the government and the MILF
PIME fathers are working in Zamboanga City since 1969,