- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Security forces in Zamboanga City, a large predominantly Christian port city in the Philippines, kept the community in lockdown mode on Tuesday while they pursued a Muslim rebel group accused of launching an air-and-sea strike against the region the previous day.

Clashes continued Tuesday, and another two city residents were reportedly injured, USA Today reported.

Beng Climaco, the mayor of the community, said in a Facebook post that she was going to allow some grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies — the ones farthest from the area of fighting — to reopen for a time in the afternoon to let residents stock up on emergency supplies.

But ferry travel remains closed and so schools, airport services and most places of work, USA Today reported.

The city sits in the southwest corner of the Philippines and is one of the largest communities.

The city sent out a Twitter to residents: “Keep safe by staying in your homes, limit movements outside.”

Four residents were killed and 14 injured in Monday clashes with the Muslim rebel group, Moro National Liberation Front. On Tuesday, a couple of more were injured by gunfire.

The Muslim group is still believed to be holding 170 hostages from the city, a largely Christian community that’s nestled among a sea of Muslim villages.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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