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30 bodies recovered in Zambo

Government troops conducting clearing operations in Zamboanga City villages previously occupied by rogue Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) fighters have so far recovered 165 unexploded ordnances and 30 cadavers since Sunday, the military said.

In a press briefing yesterday, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office (PAO) chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said the recovered bodies are believed to be that of MNLF fighters.

A report from the police said a total of 30 cadavers have been found, 21 of which are already in state of decomposition.

The police added, 130 structures and establishments in the area have been subjected to clearing operations.

Of the 165 recovered ordinances, authorities said majority are unexploded hand grenades, M203 rifle grenades, and 40mm grenade launcher ammunition, while the firearms include both light and heavy.

“We are talking about (firearms) recovered from the clearing operations, most of them were recovered from the resisting MNLF Misuari group stragglers. So like yesterday we were able to recover one M16 rifle, and one M14,” said the AFP PAO chief.

“As far as we are concerned, we are removing all elements such as firearms and explosive ordnances in the area to render it safe,” Zagala stressed.

The official likewise stated that clearing operations are being concentrated on government installations such as hospitals, clinics, barangay halls and schools. (Elena L. Aben)