Basilan attack being assessed – AFP

September 13, 2013 9:13 am 

By Priam Nepomuceno

MANILA, Sept. 12 (PNA) — The Armed Forces Thursday announced it is still assessing whether the attack on a military outpost in Basilan is connected to the four-day stand-off with Moro National Liberation Front members and the military in Zamboanga City.

This took place in Barangay Colonia, Lamitan City, Basilan around 8:45 a.m. when three Scout Rangers along with one "CVO" (militiaman) were wounded and scores of the attackers killed or wounded.

Initial reports suggest 150 members of the Abu Sayyaf Group and Bangsamoro Islamic Liberation Front staged the raid.

The encounter lasted for more than two hours.

"So what we are trying to do right now is to assess if this incident in Lamitan is one way or another connected to the incident in Zamboanga City, we do not want to speculate on the incident that happened so that we will be able to completely have a clearer picture and a good assessment of the area but nonetheless all the possibilities are being looked into," AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Domingo Tutaan, Jr. said.

He added the 104th Infantry Brigade has been ordered to coordinate with the Philippine National Police in Basilan to ensure that similar incidents which be prevented from happening again.

Tutaan also disclosed that "sporadic fires" are coming from the Misuari-faction armed group in Zamboanga as of Thursday morning.

"But these are just sporadic in nature and the AFP and PNP security elements in the area are still continuing its calibrated responses to incidents of this nature. The calibrated responses are in view of our strong desire that civilian populace will not be affected because the fires are coming from the group of the armed men and we do not want in the response that civilians will be caught in any crossfire," the AFP spokesperson stressed. (PNA)

HBC/PFN

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