Humanitarian crisis as Philippine troops go after rebel remnants
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines (AFP) - The Philippines urged its citizens on Saturday to send more aid for 100,000 people who had fled heavy fighting between troops and Muslim rebels in the country's south, calling their plight a "humanitarian crisis".
The conflict has claimed more than 100 lives since hundreds of rebels from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) entered the key trading centre of Zamboanga in a bid to derail peace talks with a rival group.
While many of the insurgents have surrendered and most of the dozens of hostages they took have been freed, attention has turned to conditions faced by 118,000 refugees displaced by the fighting.
"This has become a humanitarian crisis," Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman told AFP.