The government security forces on Saturday reported that they have already cleared almost 50 percent of the “critical areas” in Zamboanga City.
The critical areas include the adjoining barangays of Sta. Catalina, Sta. Barbara, and Rio Hondo, since these were the sites of the heavy fighting during the standoff. Chief Insp. Ariel Huesca, Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) information officer, disclosed that at least 1,756 structures were cleared since Day 1 of the clearing operations on September 29. He added that the clearing operations will last until Friday October 11. Huesca said the clearing teams have recovered a total of 338 unexploded munitions and 17 assorted high-power firearms during the clearing operations. Huesca said that they have also recovered and processed through the Police Crime Laboratory a total of 158 cadavers since the first day of the standoff. He disclosed that 46 of the 158 cadavers were recovered since the start of the clearing operations. He said three—one rebel and two civilians—of the 46 cadavers were females.