Counterinsurgency Intensifies in Philippines


Philippine troops gained ground in Zamboanga, containing the fight against Moro rebels to two districts, as the standoff entered its eighth day on Monday. After a morning of heavy gunfire, and plumes of black smoke rising from buildings set ablaze, a helicopter assault was launched against the rebels’ positions.

Many hostages either were released or escaped during the weekend, but the rebels still hold several civilians. According to a military spokesman, 51 rebels have been killed and 48 captured during the struggle, which now involves around 3,000 government troops.