Army confirms grenade blast in Jolo
MANILA, Philippines — Armed Forces spokesperson Lt Col Ramon Zagala confirmed a grenade explosion in Jolo, Sulu on Tuesday, September 10, but cautioned they have not identified who is behind the attack.
The incident happened at 6:30 pm near the building of the National Food Authority (NFA), Zagala said.
The military is monitoring possible spill over of violence from Zamboanga City to nearby islands Sulu and Basilan. Forces of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founder Nur Misuari attacked the city early morning Monday. They are currently holed up in 3 barangays in Zamboanga with at least 163 hostages.
Firefight continues to be 'intermittent,' according to Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Lt Col Rodrigo Gregorio.
Zagala said the military is certain this is the "Nur Misuari breakaway group" of the MNLF. He stressed that there's a faction of the MNLF that keeps good relationship with the military after the 1996 peace pact.
The military said Misuari is also in Sulu. The AFP earlier identified 5 MNLF commanders, including Habier Malik, leading the attacks in Zamboanga City.
Initial reports from the Zamboanga City Hall claimed there were 6 dead and at least 24 injured from the firefights between the MNLF and government forces. The death toll was reduced to 4 on Tuesday.
The death toll does not include one MNLF rebel killed on September 9 in an encounter with the military at the back of the Zamboanga Medical Center.
Navy spokesperson Lt Commander Lt Col Gregory Fabic said they have reports that 7 MNLF rebels were killed during the encounter with the Navy at sea. — Rappler.com