Bloody Philippine Siege Brought to an End

In an entry earlier this month, Muslim Rebels Attack Philippine Towns, I described a siege that left 200 people held hostage in Zamboanga City, Philippines. Now, three weeks of urban warfare have come to an end in Zamboanga. Most of the hundreds of Muslim Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels who stormed into the town have now been killed or captured by Philippine forces, and the military is handing control of the area back to local police. The AFP reports that 183 rebels were killed, 292 others were detained, 23 soldiers and police were killed, and 12 civilians also lost their lives. Weeks of street battles and numerous fires destroyed more than 10,000 homes and caused more than 100,000 residents to flee, creating a humanitarian crisis that will take months to abate.

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