MANILA, (PNA) — A trooper was killed while six others were wounded following an encounter with suspected Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members off Rio Hondo, Zamboanga City early Monday morning.
Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public information officer, said the firefight took place between MNLF members and the Naval Special Operations Group.
“It is sad that one soldier was killed and there were some people wounded,” he said.
Maj. Harold Cabunoc, commander of the Philippine Army’s 7th Civil Relations Group, said the encounter occurred at 1:45 a.m.
“Let’s offer a minute (of) prayer for the fallen soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country,” Cabunoc said.
Zagala said they are verifying if some MNLF members managed to enter the city proper.
He said initial reports indicated some “100 more or less” armed followers of MNLF chairman Nur Misuari were involved in the encounter.
Residents in nearby Mariki, Sta. Barbara and Rio Hondo villages were evacuated.