87 killed, 146 wounded in Zamboanga City

Carmela Fonbuena

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At least 67 hostages are safe

CADAVERS. Bodies of killed MNLF fighters lay unattended near a funeral parlor along Veterans Avenue. Photo by Rappler

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The death toll in the Zamboanga standoff has risen to 87, according to the military’s update as of 9 pm Monday, September 16. 

Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Commander Habier Malik lost 71 followers. Six soldiers, 3 cops, and 7 civilians were also killed.

A total of 146 have been wounded — 86 soldiers, 12 cops, 39 civilians, and 9 rebels.

About 200 members of a renegade MNLF faction attacked the city on September 9 demanding to be allowed to hoist their flag at the City Hall and declare their independence from government. They want a renegotiation of the peace deal they signed with the government in 1996.

The MNLF rebels took about 180 hostages. As of Monday 9 pm, 67 hostages had either escaped, were rescued, or were released. 

Government troops stepped up their attacks on Monday, launching for the first time air strikes and targetting an area where Malik is believed to be holed up.

READ: AFP: 70% of the battle zone cleared

A total of 64 rebels also surrendered or were captured, the military said. Based on military estimates, this means there are around 65 rebels left in the battle zone. — Rappler.com

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