December 22, 2014
MANILA, Philippines (AP) - The Philippine military says a navy patrol clashed with suspected Muslim rebels aboard several boats off a southern city in a fierce clash that killed one naval special forces member and wounded six others.
Military spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala says the navy men clashed with suspected Moro National Liberation Front rebels, who were on board a large motorboat and eight smaller vessels early Monday off Rio Hondo, a Muslim coastal community in Zamboanga city.
Zagala says the clash prompted scores of residents to flee Rio Hondo.
The Moro group signed a 1996 peace accord with the government but many of its fighters held on to their arms and accused officials of reneging on a promise to develop an autonomous region for minority Muslims in the southern Philippines.