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Zamboanga: Situation has Stabilized after Islamist Attacks

Archive Image: Officers of the Philippine Army

Archive Image: Officers of the Philippine Army

By Mission News Network, September 11, 2013

Philippines (MNN) ―Renewed fighting between government troops and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) has rekindled a turf war for independence in the Philippines. While a peace agreement was signed in 1996, the particular MNLF faction moved into the city of Zamboanga claiming they have been marginalized. The goal of MNLF: to break away from the country and declare its own Islamic State.

The violence has suspended flights from Zamboanga, and residents have fled areas hit by the fighting. Has it affected Edge Radio, Christian radio in Zamboanga? Yes. Edge Radio Network’s General Manager and missionary Mike Medlin says, “We were on Facebook with one of our volunteers yesterday when the violence began to unfold in the street just outside his home. As of now, we don’t have updates on him or his family. The Edge does broadcast in the area, and as of last night, our station manager and his family were safe and the station was still on the air.”

There are 6 confirmed deaths, dozens of injuries, and over 100 hostages taken. The Philippine’s military is sending additional troops to the hundreds already deployed in the unrest.

The MNLF members arrived by boat in the city early on Monday and wanted to raise their flag above Zamboanga’s city hall, military officials said.

In a press conference yesterday, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas says the situation has stabilized, thanks to security personnel. “It has been contained and isolated, and won’t spread to other areas,” Mr Roxas told reporters. There have been conflicting reports on how many people are either trapped by the fighting or being held by the rebels.

Roxas reports that rebels were using about 180 residents as “human shields.”

Please pray for peace in the region. Pray also that God will use Edge Radio to point listeners to Christ during this time of uncertainty.

Photo credit: United Nations Photo via Photopin, CC

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