PAF choppers bomb MNLF dugouts as crisis remains unresolved in ZC: Car explodes in Camino Nuevo: Bomb planted or mortar shell? PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 13:48

Pressured by clamor to swiftly end the Zamboanga City crisis, the military dispatched Philippine Air Force attack helicopters yesterday to bomb MNLF rebels boxed in the conflict areas in Sta. Catalina and Sta. Barbara.

Powerful rockets that exploded in the areas jolted many residents who are already terrified and fatigue as the crisis entered on its eight day yesterday.

Several banks, some pawnshops, money forwarders, stores and pharmacies have opened, but on limited hours, creating long lines of people withdrawing or sourcing out money and buying food supplies, fearing that the crisis would go unresolved in the next few days.

But despite the rocket attacks from the PAF’s MG520 helicopters, pinned down MNLF fighters returned fire to prevent ground troops from advancing forward to their positions.

This developed as a Kia sedan car exploded around 3:30 p.m yesterday in Camino Nuevo (Nuñez extension), triggering panic in the neighborhood. No one was hurt as the area was almost deserted. The car owned by designer Salam Francisco was totally wrecked. Bomb experts were still checking whether someone planted an improvised explosive device on the ill fated car or a wayward mortar shell found its way to Camino Nuevo.

Meanwhile, the total number of hostages who escaped from the hands of rebels reached 34 yesterday.

Two of those who escaped died from stray bullets. they were identified as Eithan Jomie ando, 2 and Raymundo Cepada, Jr.

Thirty two others underwent medical check-up and debriefing. They are Norismo Hasinon, Judith Hasinon, Ira Hasinon, Binzal Hasinon, Fr. Michael Ufana, Maryjane Geroralaga, Mercedita Hasinon, Daniel Ramos Sanson, Ruth Angeles, Pastor David Dela Torre, Nifras, Arnel Renacia, Dr. Clemente Almonte, Jr., Clevan Kiar Presno, Edimar Conseso, Leonardo Cedona, Benjamin Leonardo, Nica Tabios, Lyka Tabios, Melvie Tabios, Narciso Lomiton, Ira Mae Lomiton, Irene Lomiton, Michelle Candido, Nhoa Mojica, Frederick Fernandez, Monico Dales, Josephine Parcas Simeon, Osualdo Mariano, Warren Simeon, Rodelio Tolorio, Romelo Nagar and Irineo Gerolaga.

Most of the victims got away from the MNLF group during heavy exchanges of gunfire. Some of them told newsmen that the MNLF rebels lost their attention to hold them as they were concentrating on the battle with the government troops.

DZT gathered from some of the hostages who escaped that there were several others left in the hands of the MNLFs.

It was learned that many of the hostages were hiding on sewerage systems in Sta. Barbara and Sta. Catalina to evade bullets.

Most of the hostages who escaped were starving and weak due to sleepless nights in the hands of the MNLFs. – Dan Toribio Jr.