CLASSES and works remain suspended on Tuesday in all public and private institutions as firefight broke out anew between government forces and rebels loyal to Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding-leader Nur Misuari in this city.
The fresh firefight broke out as early as 3 a.m. on Tuesday in the vicinity of the Zamboanga City Public Safety Company (ZCPSC) headquarters in Barangay Sta. Barbara.
The suspension of classes and works in all public and private institutions entered the second day Tuesday after hostilities broke out when hundreds of Misuari loyalists infiltrated this city early Monday.
“Classes in all levels, both public and private institutions as well as work in all offices remain suspended today [Tuesday] in view of the current situation,” Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said.
However, Salazar said there will be work for personnel in “offices providing frontline services like social welfare, city administrator, city mayor’s office, city engineer’s office, city health office and several others.”
Salazar said that some 30 armed MNLF tagging along civilians as human shields from Barangay Mampang, nine kilometers east of this city, were monitored around 3 a.m. Tuesday proceeding to Sta. Catalina, 1.76 kilometers east of this city, to support their comrades.
The group was blocked by combined police and military forces manning checkpoints in Barangay Talon-Talon, according to Salazar.
Meanwhile, Salazar said further verification showed that four people, including a policeman and a Navy soldier, were killed while 14 were injured contrary to earlier reports of six killed and 24 wounded.
She said that the authorities are undertaking steps to resolve the crisis but would not divulge details of the operation. PNA