Philippine troops advance as ceasefire falters
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines (AFP) - Philippine troops were on Sunday closing in on Muslim rebel positions and cutting off escape routes to end a week-long standoff that has left more than 60 people dead in the southern city of Zamboanga, officials said.
Thousands more residents have fled, while sporadic clashes continued as soldiers moved to clear Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) gunmen from coastal neighbourhoods after a ceasefire plan collapsed.
"We are continuing to press forward with our calibrated military response," military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala told AFP.
"Fighting is continuing as we speak. They continue to resist and conduct offensive actions against us."