Zamboanga fighting will 'wind down within the day': Philippine President Aquino
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines (AFP) - Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Sunday flew out of a major southern city where troops are fighting Muslim rebels, saying he expects the deadly battles to be over soon.
"I believe this will wind down within the day," he said before boarding a jet that flew him out of Zamboanga, where thousands of elite troops have been fighting Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) gunmen for two weeks.
President Aquino also vowed to bring criminal charges against MNLF founder Nur Misuari, accused of being behind the rebel incursion.
About 200 MNLF rebels entered Zamboanga, a major trading centre with one million residents, on September 9 in the most serious armed challenge to the Philippine government in recent years.