Timeline: Zamboanga standoff between MNLF, gov’t troops

Angela Casauay

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2 suspected MNLF members are arrested at a fishpond Sunday night

MANILA, Philippines – What happened leading to the standoff between members of the Moro National Liberation Front and security forces in Zamboanga City on Monday, September 9?

The Armed Forces admitted they monitored the entry of MNLF members in Zamboanga City “three days ago” but government forces could not prevent their movement then since they were unarmed.

As the standoff continued as of 5:40 pm Monday, at least 6 were reported killed and 24 were wounded while “more or less” 20 hostages were being held.

Here’s the timeline leading to the Zamboanga standoff, according to reports from the police and the military:

Sunday, Sept 8, 2013 

10:30 pm – Zamboanga City Police arrest 2 armed suspected MNLF members at a fishpond in Barangay Rio Hondo, Zamboanga City. Suspects are brought to Zamboanga City Police Office for investigation. Police also spot men carrying backpacks with uniforms

11:30 pm – Members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (SAF) are deployed after receiving reports on the presence of 30 armed persons in the same barangay 

Monday, Sept 9, 2013 

1:45 am – An encounter at sea occurs between the military’s Naval Special Operations Group and about 100 MNLF troops trying to enter Zamboanga through Barangay Rio Hondo.

5:00 am – SAF personnel deployed in Sta Barbara engage armed men in a firefight 

7:00 am – 4 armed men are arrested in Zamboanga City Public Market

10:30 am – 4 mortar rounds are fired by suspected MNLF members in Sta Barbara

11:02 am – Casualties: 4 dead (1 PNP, 1 AFP, 2 civilians) and 14 wounded (3 PNP, 7 AFP, 4 civilians).

11:41 am – About 200 civilians remain stranded in Brgy Santa Catalina, Zamboanga City, where more or less 20 hostages were taken 

6 pm – Zamboanga City declares a curfew – Rappler.com

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